So I’ve never really taken a look back with this blog into days of my past. I’ve expressed my distaste for high school, but I’ve never actually gone into it. Well, yesterday’s blog post got like 8 likes, which is 8 more likes than usual. So in celebration I’m taking a look back at the cringe that is high school. Why? You may ask. One response, and one only. Babymetal.
For those of you who don’t know what Babymetal is, look it up, because it’s hilarious and catchy. Anyway, we were sharing odd music today in a friend group that prides themselves in their weird taste in music: shoegaze, post-metal (what exactly this is I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure it’s a thing), alternative, indie, what have you. Babymetal is pretty mainstream hard-j-pop-sung-by-tweens, but it’s catchy and always a crowd pleaser. Back to the point, I showed someone Babymetal, it’s now stuck in my head, I first discovered Babymetal in eleventh grade at Nation Latin Convention (yes, I’m a nerd) and so Babymetal reminds me of high school. Phew. Hope you stuck with me through that convoluted explanation.
Anyway, high school. High school was not all bad. The first two years, until the second semester of my sophomore year, were pretty okay. I’m not sure how much I’ve talked about oboe in this but I was a reasonably accomplished oboist (if you want to hear me playing in high school you can here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyiMdT8TRfU and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WZHzrNydtY (they are audition videos hence the weird intro)) I went to All State all six years, middle and high school, two for oboe, four for oboe. I was extremely active in band and orchestra on said oboe. I marched in marching band, playing the second bass. I was very into high school then. I loved it. I got all A’s in AP classes, and pushed myself academically.
Looking back on it now, it’s so crazy to see how different I am now than I was then. I was full of life, I was involved heavily in Latin. I specialized in Greek Derivatives and competed in statewide and nationwide competitions in Greek Derivs, I came first in the state two years in a row. I loved it. My favorite class was always English though, I had the opportunity to be taught by what I believe is probably one of the best high school English teams in the country. They were fantastic, chose interesting literature, and challenged me to work hard and think. It was in my sophomore year that I discovered my favorite book thus far, Jane Eyre.
Thinking back on it now, for like the first time in years (even in late high school I refused to think about it) early high school was how high school should be: fun, carefree, full of opportunity, optimistic, free. I had a high school “sweetheart” in that time, I had a huge high school crush (who I probably should have dated instead…whoops), I had friends, I had plans to go to Vanderbilt and study oboe at the Blair school of Music, I loved high school dances, I had pep in my step, I was healthy (for the most part), my body didn’t hurt everyday, and I smiled a lot. I was talkative and cheerful, and a little obnoxious probably. I had everything going for me.
And then I got sick.
It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly I got sick, and what came first – mental or physical. What I noticed first was stomach problems. Then depression. Then fibromyalgia. It all spiraled from there. The sunshine in my memory fades as I think of that time. Dark, dark times that I will share at some point that is not now. That time was not high school, I aged. I was old then. My innocence was defeated, and I was schlepped into a new life of blank walls in sterile offices where people tried to diagnose me. I think that’s when I checked out, I just turned off the light and left. High school ended then, and I think any sort of childhood or teenage-hood ended then. I became a fragile mannequin to transport, and the me that thrived and shined became timid and passive, not passive aggressive, just passive, and thats something I still try to overcome.
A lot of people like to remind me that I’m only 19, but I feel so much older, too sore and bitter for nineteen. I relate too much to Memory from Cats to be 19. My bones ache, and they try to remind me that I’m nineteen. Life is too bittersweet for me to be 19. There is too much depth in the world for me to be 19. I see too much beauty and sunshine in the smile of a child or the blooming of a wildflower to be nineteen. Nineteen is for explosive life, and I’m more of a simmer, simmering onward. And so I beat onward.
I think passiveness is something that I really struggle with now. I live life, I enjoy parts of it, but sometimes I still feel so “checked out” or “out to lunch”. Even now, with the beauty that is happening in my life, all of the blessings that the Lord has rained down on me, I struggle to be fully here. I want to be here. It’s just so much easier not to be. Maybe that’s part of Bipolar. Does anyone experience that? Anyway – to close this haphazard post, here are some pictures of me from my actual high school, in other words 9th and 10th grade.