My blog's been filled with one-liners and minimum effort lately. Partially because I've been writing SO much (not TOO much; never too much) because of final exams, essays, affirmations and paragraphs of yearbook signings, partially because I feel like I haven't been myself this past little while, and partially because I've been avoiding the topic of finishing high school. And that in itself can't be boiled down to one sole reason. It's a mix of evading the swelling of emotions that are bound to hit when I fully realize that this is the end, and also the feeling that I have to be able to write something that will justify all that was high school in all its awkwardness, growth and greatness. That, and the possibilities of regret, goodbyes and last chances. I know there's still time and one last hurrah before it's actually all over, but I write this because I need to force myself to follow through with my intent to say farewells and reflect on the fact that I'm leaving this place a different person than I when I arrived.
I'm unsure of how to capture the essence of the past 5 years without the use of roller coaster cliches and recounting every single memory I've had (or else this would never end). Or even where to begin, since now that I sit down and think about it, the term "high school" is a phase in my life that stretches beyond just days of moving from classroom to classrooms.
I guess the whole reason why this was triggered is because I'm sitting here looking at my yearbook signings. I read through them at C's as he watched me react, half-laughing and half-crying (I went through a whole range of emotions that day.. It was weird*), but now as I actually take the time to drink in the words, my pages of autographs have somehow found a way to slap me in the face with reality. This is it.
The other day, BKoole shoved my booklet in my face and said, "Look at this. Look at all the people you've impacted. It's crazy." and I was dazed. It hadn't occurred to me that I could affect someone's life, because all this time, it felt like people have been giving me pieces of themselves in the form of friendships, relationships, mentorship and familyhood. High school has given me the gift of meeting all these people, and it blows my mind as I actually think about how much good is in each one of them. They are inspirational, and I tried my best to learn their stories and be the friend they needed, knowing it would be impossible to do that for all of them without stretching myself too thin. Regardless, I know there will be tearful farewells because of how much we've grown together the past 5 years. There will be sadness in the parting, but the beauty of it is that I don't have to worry about the important few because of the inevitability that our paths will cross again.
I know for a fact that God place me in SCS with a purpose, and I often wonder how my life would be different had I followed my heart and gone to a different school. I remember coming in, at 13 years young in all the awkwardness of a pubescent girl, with no friends, no drive to be great, no expectations for the school and the stubbornness of a teenager who wanted to be elsewhere. I look back on the me, beaten, bruised and full of inhibition, and I barely recognize her.
Somewhere between all the band trips, lunch-time laughs (which always occurred in different areas of the school due to forced migrations), and classroom "Hey, is this seat taken?"s, I found the people I needed. I found people who challenged me to be better, to believe that God has more in store for me than I could possibly imagine and to be fearless**. Somewhere along the way, I got involved. Not just in extracurriculars (although that did help and got me where I am today), but with people. I learned to invest time and emotions and to sit down, be real and get comfortable, as opposed to getting caught up in the drama around me. Somewhere among the hecticness of my way too jam-packed life, I learned to ask for help. And not just when a cute boy offered to tutor me in math, but when my plate was too full and I needed to put my ego aside and say that I can't do it on my own. Somewhere between the tests, textbooks and essays, I met teachers like Mr. B who inspire me with their passion and honesty. Somewhere between the renovations of the school and the renovations of the my heart, God worked in me. He showed me that his capacity to love is infinite, and that it's reciprocated in the cracks of my school, especially when things get a little rough.
It took me a while to realize how great my school is, and although I do realize that it's time to move onto something new, I'll miss it. I'll miss the voice of Mr. B yelling at us to go to advisory (I already do), the high-fives in the hallways and Mr. Splinter's Monday morning humor. I'll miss (almost) everything in relation to the Music Department, and I'm perfectly prepared to be one of those alumni sitting in the audience of the concerts next year. I'll miss saving a seat for Lindsay in Bible (because she always walks in late with Tim Horton's in hand), hanging hand-drawn pictures from Esther in my locker, Starbucks runs during spare, and English Literature. I'll miss watching people's reactions as we wish them Happy Birthday, knowing the location of every student in the school, and even that stupid Birthday Bear. I'll miss spending every waking moment with Abby. I'll miss pulling pranks on Ralph... Just kidding, we're still gonna be pulling pranks on him at UBC. I'll miss constantly seeing familiar faces, the ease of pre-university days (such as classes that I can sleep through without getting screwed over) and new-found friendships with the young ones (better late than never). I'll even miss how everyone still asks me if I own a crawlspace even though our grad trip over a good 10 months ago***.
About a year ago, we sat around talking all the grad pranks that we were going to do (which didn't happen), how time was going to fly by (it did) and how we couldn't believe that we'd be graduating next year (I still don't believe it). Actually, about 5 years ago, I thought graduation was forever away. I didn't even talk to most of these people. I didn't ever imagine I would become student council president or have the guts to play a saxophone solo (and screw up and be okay with it) or be able to be comfortable enough with people to spoon. I've grown, but not grown up yet. There's still endless possibilities, fresh faces and shoot-for-the-star concepts. I'm caught in the transition phase between the end and the beginning. The sentiments that come with graduation are bizarre.
I still can't believe the next time we'll be taking group pictures will be in prom dresses, and the next time I'll be on a stage will be walking (and hopefully not tripping) across it getting my diploma.
What. The. Heck.
*".. Why are you panicking about the cash box?"
"I remember my emotions really well, okay?"
**Sorry if Taylor Swift has rendered this word meaningless
***People who weren't even there ask me this...