I sit on the floor next to one of my best friends from high school who I haven’t seen in months, but it feels like no time has passed at all.
She’s the girl I used to show my poems because I was too shy to show anyone else. The girl I cried to on a basement floor about a guy and life and how I wished I wasn’t so drunk on that cold cement floor. The girl I could relate to about not feeling like a typical high school girl. Of course, I look back now and realize, yeah, I was pretty typical. In fact, the fact that I thought I wasn’t typical is probably what made me the most typical, but I wouldn’t have changed myself for a second (if only I had acted with such confidence back then more than 1% of the time).
The rest of our friends are sitting on couches around us. We begin to tell stories of our lives, now beyond the hallways of high school. The presence of copious amounts of alcohol is a commonality in all of them. So is a dash of stupidity leading to questionable decisions. It isn’t long before we begin rehashing old school stories.
Old times, old drama, old feelings that I can remember like they were coursing through my veins just yesterday. Images of my high school life begin to flash through my mind. My brain takes me back to my old house, my old room. The room where I obsessed over boy bands, and the odd real boy. The desk that was plastered in quotes and pictures as if my Tumblr had barfed on my wall. I think of my bed that I cried on when I thought I wasn’t good enough for anyone or anything. I sink back into the pain a little too far and find myself missing it.
Missing the heartbreak; Missing the feeling of lost that being 17 is.
Then I remember the present, too, holds such things.
Post high school holds new grounds of discomfort. Figuring things out becomes more critical because adulthood is just that much closer. Not having your shit together is still kind of adorable in that quirky kind of way, but I can see the time when it won’t be. Before, not being a mess wasn’t even an option. It just was.
I sit and look around at these people and realize they are my past, but also my future. We are not the same people we were at graduation. Hell, we aren’t the same people we were a week ago. We are always changing, and growing, and learning. And sometimes we have to digress and mourn our past selves in order to feel okay with life’s slingshot shooting us forward (whether we like it or not).
But I also know that discomfort is temporary, because once upon a time, when Taylor Swift was still country and Blackberrys were the shit, I was terrified of everything.
Not much has changed on that front, but at the same time, everything has.