I’m going to confess something here that I can hardly believe myself. Fifteen years ago this summer I graduated from high school. I get dizzy just thinking about it sometimes. It just doesn’t seem possible that it’s been so long. In so many ways, I still feel like that clueless 18-year-old waiting for something big to happen.
I went through a period last year where I felt really nostalgic for high school. All that young adult fiction I was reading probably sparked it. Don’t you just kind of long for those summers in between school years when there was nothing to do? Such lazy long days where you’d stay up almost all night reading (because you’re a nerd) and then sleep in until the Price Is Right was on. Such boring days when I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have a car. I didn’t have anything to do.
As I thought more about why I was longing for those days, I realized that they were carefree. What I really missed was the sense of potential. My life felt so full of potential. I was heavy with it, and Salt Lake just couldn’t contain me. I had all these dreams and thoughts about what college would be like, about first loves, about my ambitions for a career. Fast forward fifteen years, and it’s harder to remember that life is still full of possibilities. Somehow I stumbled into my current career. Even though I stretched out college for as long as I possibly could, it was over too quickly. First (unrequited) loves tend to fizzle out. It often feels like all of those experiences I looked forward to at 18 are over.
Now of course I know that 33 isn’t that old. I know that I have no idea what is around the corner. I think about who I was 15 years ago, and I am incredibly grateful for all of the challenges and joys that have helped me become the person I am today. And it stands to reason that I still have a lot of growing to do, I still have a lot of wonderful experiences to have, and I still have some challenges to overcome.
All of this is just a really long intro to an inadvertent fifteen-year reunion with some of my favorite friends from high school. Many of us have lived in various states over the years, but we all recently ended up back in Utah. We had a large group to gather (what with friends, husbands of friends and about thirteen kids), so we decided a picnic in Draper Park would be the perfect location for a get-together. I didn’t take too many photos because I still feel a little awkward about pulling the camera out at parties. Plus, I was busy chatting, but here are some of my favorite people.
Oh high school. It was actually a hard time for me. I took things too seriously. I personalized. I wrote poetry on every scrap of paper and nurtured my love of cemeteries. But these girls (and several who weren’t at the park that night) were right there with me, sighing and alas-ing and comforting and living it up. It’s awesome that we can still do all of those things fifteen years later.