I graduated from high school ten years ago today, and it wasn’t until talking to one of my best friends, Jewels, that I realized how much life has changed in those ten years. This milestone, as Jewels called it, is absolutely monumental.
1. I never (ever) would have dreamed I would be living in California ready to begin my 2nd year as a Doctoral student. When I graduated high school I wanted to be a writer, art editor at a magazine to be exact. I was supposed to go to Auburn and major in mass comm but in a last minute decision I told my parents I wasn’t ready to leave and certainly not for Auburn so I stayed…and somehow a year later ended up in New Hampshire and then Boston and then Knoxville, Tennessee for the best 3(or so) years any co-ed could hope for. Back then, Jewels wanted to be on broadway so we were going to move to New York post-grad. But life happened and other dreams replaced those, for both of us really. No more big city, and no more editor dreams. Who knew I’d end up a professional academic researcher and therapist? Quite honesty though, since I was 18 I still have “only” ever wanted to write.
2. My family had just grown the year before with the birth of my youngest sister. My mother had her three girls and a big beautiful home that I had actually chosen with my step-dad. I worked because I wanted to but my parents were gracious in that enjoying my senior year came first before any shift at any job. I literally had never had a real care in the world and see now that I was protected from so much due to their love. In ten years a lot of things have changed, this love remains.
3. The Jeep or the Corolla…which would I drive to school? I loved when it was the Jeep except when it came time to fill it up (I’d now kill for a $25 fill up). Then the corolla was mine…then the jeep…then the BMW…then the little dodge…then the Cadillac…and now I walk. Lol…this just serves to humor me.
4. I cheered, was on the track team, did marching band, chorus, spring musical, show choir, yearbook albeit unofficially, took AP classes and honors everything else, had never made a B until Dr. Marshall’s biology class and I had the greatest friends in the world. Some people hate HS, I was not one of those. And while I have no desire to go back, I believe I am still the girl who gets involved, excels academically, and knows damn near everyone. I wanted to be Ferris Beuller when I was younger, chalk it up to that.
5. The people I have remained constantly close with are Katrina, Krell, and Julia. While the first two were friends before the first class, Jewels and I didn’t really get close until senior year. I still keep in touch with and am friends with many other people from AHS but these 3 know, and always know, the intimate details of my life. I love them dearly.
6. Kim, Brenda and I were never far from adventure, especially senior year. And as my mother would warn us to stay out of Buckhead we were there every chance we got. Harmless fun, we just wanted to be in the city and enjoy the sights. Now, they are both married, Kim with a daughter. And I am what feels like lightyears from either life. Hovering somewhere in the middle of single in the city, and married in the suburbs, its hard to figure out which team I’m on these days. Selfishly, my career is my husband right now. I chose that and am okay with my choice. No kids in the foreseeable future, but one day. Maybe at the 20 year mark.
7. Mrs. Murdock…she would have me over for dinner, and watch my struggle to understand “stacks of cups” in pre-AP calculus. She was one of the truly wonderful teachers in this world who loved what she did and did it well. I didn’t fully appreciate her until I graduated because no math teacher has ever been so patient and kind with me before. When she left this body, the one overtaken by breast cancer, and now exists (as I believe) in her spirit form she serves as a constant reminder to just give people a little more time. That, and never be afraid to be the essentric Southern spitfire.
8. Senior prom was so fantastic and I had, by far, the best date.
Timmy asked me in aerobics class and it went something like this, “so are we going to prom together or what?” Despite our rough start, and ever rougher prom day when he stalled our picture taking because the tux place gave him two left shoes, we had a ball. Alex walked out early so our entire crew had to leave because she couldnt get back in, Ned physically dragging Brenda off the dance floor lol, and since we missed the last dance, Tim pulled me up in the party bus limo and we slow danced to the radio down Peachtree street. Mrs. Lupo our home ec teacher made us (all 52 of us) a candlelight breakfast post-prom at her house, I still have the recipe to her fabulous coffee cake. Sealed with a campfire at Ned’s, it was the best prom night. Nevermind the next morning at musical practice…the night itself couldn’t have been better.
9. It was my first year in high school without Krell and I wasn’t sure how much I was ready for that. This was my best friend and in my head, future husband, yet he was off at Princeton. I missed him terribly and can remember thinking of how different things would be. Not only that but the other piece to our puzzle, Chelsea, was moving to Minnesota. I was sad that my two friends were gone and while senior year marched on I missed them so much that year. And on that same note it was good to have the time to branch out and invest in other friendships, but man…having them both at graduation meant the absolute world to me.
10. Finally, while I likely will not make it to my actual reunion, I have to say I really kinda wish I could. Just to see everyone and hear what is going on in their lives. While I feel my life is pretty dull, full of journal articles and writing, I love my humdrum and wouldn’t trade it. I’m incredibly happy with my life and my current cast of loved ones. I can only hope the AHS class of 2002 is just as happy with theirs.