Do you ever have one of those days that takes you back several years and at the same time makes you wonder how the future will turn out?
My best friend from high school was nominated for homecoming court for her university. When I found out about this a couple of weeks ago, I was not surprised at all. Carmen is the kind of person who seems to instantly click with anyone she meets. Carmen genuinely cares about people, and that really inspires the way she interacts with others. It’s no surprise to me that everyone sees the best in her because that’s exactly what she does–she sees the best in everyone. I am very proud of her for staying true to herself throughout college and for loving and inspiring others around her.
Honestly, the fact that Carmen was on the court was not what took me back to the days of high school. It was more of the fact that this was one of the few times Carmen, Mary Kathryn, and I have been together since high school. The summer right before my freshman year in high school, Mary Kathryn and I met when we were trying out for cheerleading and volleyball. Carmen and I met the week before school started when we were both shopping for school supplies in Office Max with our moms. I remember her mom picking up a rolling backpack with light up wheels, and we all laughed about how much we would get made fun of if we had those for the first day of high school. In those moments, I had no idea just how much these two would mean to me over the course of high school.
Looking back on how far we have come together, and sometimes apart got me to thinking about where we will end up in five, ten, fifteen plus years. We all seem to be going our separate ways: getting married, applying to Teach for America, living abroad in China. Our lives really couldn’t be taking us in more different directions, but there is something in me that really wants to believe that the past we have all shared together is stronger than anything in the future that will threaten to pull us apart. Perhaps that is wishful thinking, or perhaps that is exactly the kind of thinking that keeps good friends together–probably the former. And even if we do not remain close (because let’s face it, we don’t always talk or hang out like we used to), we still have our memories that we have shared together. I know that sounds trite, but there really is something powerful about a memory, don’t you think?
To close, here is one of my more recent favorite songs about high school memories:
When I think about you, I think about seventeen;
I think about my old jeep. I think about the stars in the sky.
Funny how a melody sounds like a memory, like a soundtrack to a July Saturday night.