For the past month I have been very nostalgic for high school. I‘ve been missing the people and the lessons and even the heartache and the fights. I’ve been thinking about how blessed I was to go to Guajome and how much I learned there and all that I have taken away with me.
I’ve been thinking about all of this because I learned of a peer who was a couple years older than me who committed suicide this week and also because I bumped into some old friends a few weeks ago who I haven’t seen since graduation. I thought about how much they hadn’t changed; how they seemed to be exactly the same and it felt like no time had passed since we all use to eat lunch on the bathroom ramp. I realized if it seemed they hadn’t changed, they probably thought the same thing about me. But, to say we all haven’t changed is to discredit all we’ve each been through over the last four years. We’ve all had to change, that’s what four years does to a person. We keep evolving and learning and maturing. Although all of us seem to look exactly like we did in our graduation day pictures, the things we’ve each been through since we all knew each other have shaped so much of where we’re going and how we feel about all that took place during our time together in high school. We may resemble the people we were back then, but in reality we are nothing like them. Those people are merely a shadow of our present selves.
I have been feeling guilty about loving high school for four years. Somehow I thought that because I enjoyed college I had to say college was better than high school and let go of all that those four years meant to me. I had to free myself to admit that Guajome was an incredible time in my life. I will probably always be that small majority of people who loved high school more than college. I was blessed by Guajome. I made some amazing friendships there that got me through many rough times, and although those friendships kind of look like my room back home now, full of items that remind me of good times, but they are all in a big crumbled mess, it doesn’t changed that we were something good and needed for each other at the time. I also had some incredible teachers who helped shape the person I am now. I grew up at Guajome. It was my home away from home. I had a place there. I knew exactly where I belonged, who I was and what made me happy. I didn’t need to know where I was going or who I wanted to be because everything made perfect sense (well, at least as much sense as anything could make at 17).
Now things seem so complicated and unsure. The people we were in high school, the friends I bumped into and the peer who passed away, they are all so confused and lonely now. We all just want direction and purpose and respect, and I know that in high school we wanted those things too, I have just forgotten. Or maybe things just didn’t seem so bad back then because my support system was so big and present. I don’t just miss high school; I miss how easy it was to simply ignore the future.