and we’re moving on.
the school we’ve come to love and hate.
And so the day has arrived, at last.
Today finalizes our transition from naive high school students, sheltered in
the “53-minute jump and run” schedule, to high school graduates,
unleashed into the “real world”, away from parents and passes to the nurse’s
I never thought graduation meant anything, at least anything more than crossing
the stage and throwing caps into the air. I’ve already attended two and all I
did was blink away tears of boredom as someone of importance mispronounced each
name. It never crossed my mind, that as
each name was called, a student, a daughter, a friend, a classmate, a person
was reflecting upon four long years of narcs screaming down the hallways, of
tests irrelevant to lectures and study guides, of crushes and library fines. It never crossed my mind that behind the
parent’s clicking of a camera, behind her poking at a neighbor proudly saying,
“That’s my son”, was a bittersweet realization, a realization too
heart-breaking to swallow, a realization of a grown child ready to leave home and
venture into adulthood, into a world where mommies and daddies slowly and
painfully fade away. Then one day, he’ll
find the new woman in his life, build a family, and come across a home, a home his
children will draw with finger-paints, a home they’ll leave behind as well, a
home they’ll come back to in the future and reminisce on the porch swing of how
they raced downstairs every morning, of how they snuck vegetables under the dinning room rug.
It’s difficult to describe this feeling, this feeling of nervousness,
fear, uncertainty. I will definitely
miss most people, especially those I’ve grown up with. It’s hard not knowing where we will be, how
we will be. It’s times like these when I
truly wish for the best of people, for world peace, but reality hits and I am
suddenly aware that somewhere in the world, someone is dying, someone is
cheating, someone is starving.
“Sometimes it seems things go by too quickly. We’re so busy watching out for what’s just
ahead of us that we don’t take the time to enjoy where we are. Days go by and we hardly notice them. Life becomes a blur. Often it takes some calamity to make us live
in the present. Then suddenly we wake up
and see all the mistakes we’ve made, but it’s too late to change anything.”
— Bill Watterson (who else is worth quoting)
So I take this opportunity, this opportunity to hit a chord
in your heart. I hope that you, whoever
you are, a friend, a stranger, an acquaintance, are okay, and that through
whatever crap which has unpleasantly steered your life in a bad direction, you
will realize, as cliché as it is, life is short, and that, compared to the big picture, things will be all right in the end. A break-up, a deceased loved one, an unsure future, you name it. We’ve already hurdled through so many obstacles in life, moments in which we wanted to give up and quit life, times we cried so hard we couldn’t breathe.
There’s not much you can do. You are who you are. You’ll never be able to dunk like Michael Jordan or write a legendary series about a boy whose name and lightning-shaped scar will be recognized everywhere. You’ll never really curve in the right places, have a toned six-pack, or smile with white, straight teeth. But don’t lose hope; you can always bring about a change, a change for the common good, a change in and for yourself. Run through the sprinklers with your clothes on. Write that story you’ve thought over a hundred times in your head. Tell that boy you wish he’d hang out with you just to make lemonade and pb&j sandwiches. Hug your parents the way you’ve always wanted to, with every ounce of love and appreciation squeezed into it.
Taken from an entry in September:
“It’s funny thinking about the yearbook. Right now, it’s as
empty as a druggie’s refrigerator. Then as the school year rolls on by, it will
slowly spring to life with quotes about homecoming and school dances, pictures
of lunch tables and class characters, pages creatively made by friends, until
there’s not one page left. Then the yearbook will be purchased, put away on the
shelf, left for the future generation to ridicule and laugh over. And our high
school lives will close up as simple as that, as if we were never there.”
Nobody wanted to leave high school more than I did, proven
in my lack of show at school, in my apathy towards the busy work, in my aggravated expression as I threw my backpack on the floor. But now, as always, I’ve come to regret the
days I wasted away in front of my television set or on my school desk sleeping. What worries me the most is that this idleness will carry on and cultivate into the future.
So far, though, I’ve had a productive summer, even if it’s lying on a truck staring at the sky at 1 in the morning, or hanging out at the local boba store, or browsing through books at Barnes and Nobles. Live, you know. Seventeen years have already gone by, and I think I can speak for everybody when we say we want them back– the days problems were fixed with a bandage and tootsie-pop, the days we raced on for the biggest Bazooka gum-bubble, the days we spent playing thirteen and speed. Don’t dwell on the could’ve, should’ve, would’ve. Take pride in the fact you’ve at least attempted.
I love you, class of ’06. I honestly think we’re a good class, filled with people who genuinely care for each other, people who have heart and morality. At least, those I talk to. Take care. We’ve shared more than good times, horrible teachers, and crowded locker rooms. We’ve shared something less tangible, an experience perhaps, a time that’ll freeze as we cross the stage.
peace, because you affect more people than you know.