Everyone has that one high school song that kicks them back into teenager-mode. They bang their heads to lyrics and a beat that have found some weird emotional entanglement to themselves. Everyone has that one high school film that all their friends loved. They watched it to fit in, but it got to them too, and they cast their friends as its characters. Many a petty argument happened because “Britney never got to be Hermione. She was always Luna,” or something along those lines. Everyone has that set of high school hobbies that pulled them from the real world. Time was enough to fit in a little sketching, jamming session or dance practice. Everyone has that one high school crush—their “first loves”. Looking at him or her in the eyes for too long just couldn’t happen because they’d find themselves giggling or turning red. Ahh, teenage awkwardness.
To me, high school was a magical time of ideas and strange dreams about solar systems and operating tables. It was a time of discovering bands, shout out to Kings of Leon, and songs that will forever shape my teenage years. It was a time of firsts—my first legit celebrity crush (who I saved tons and tons of pictures of), my first time to get all dolled up (hair, makeup, and a big purple gown), and even my first fight with my best friend.
I felt pretty infinite, running around in a field of grass with my friends or standing up on a moving pick-up truck. My emotions were all over the place in high school, and I poured them out in massive buckets. They arranged themselves into words—awfully written entries about the glories of a sunset or the woes of an army man. Poured emotions arranged themselves into detailed acrylic brush strokes across a ¼ illustration board or a 4×4 canvas too.
I spent high school with words, paint, and a personal set of homies (for the lack of a better word. Haha) who will always have a reserved space in my heart. 16 crazy kids who tickled each other for entertainment, dressed up in jammies for Christmas, ran around school interviewing upper classmen, played the air-guitar, played the real guitar, had mini-dance parties in class, and a whole lot more. I’ll never forget that we listened to our own heartbeats for a science experiment. 16 crazy kids jogging up and down for a few seconds, stopping, and measuring the pace of our bursting hearts. We were pumping blood and laughter… crazy-daisy laughter at things that weren’t even funny.
But I’m not a kid anymore. My days of searching for songs and films that shape me, and “first loves” are over. Words and paint have nearly become strangers because I’ve been so preoccupied with driver’s licenses, thesis, and other stuff prepping me for adulthood. The time of “firsts” feels long gone, and all I can do is look back on it fondly—when every “first” felt like a movie moment with the perfect background song playing in my head.
And those 16 crazy kids? We’ve all gone our separate ways, scattered across miles of lost conversation and memories. We’re not the same kids pumping blood and laughter, playing the air-guitar, or dancing around the room. We’re the almost-adults who faced the real world hand-in- hand at first then decided to slowly let go of each other.
Like I said, everyone has that one high school song that kicks them back into teenager mode. Everyone has that one high school film they watched just to fit in. Everyone has that one high school crush they could barely look in the eyes. Everyone has that set of high school hobbies that pulled them from the real world. And everyone has that group of high school friends who have all gone their separate ways.
But everyone, myself included, has those moments where their high school friends meet up, and they listen to that one high school song. They bang their heads like idiots and play the air guitar in a car with one of them driving (not so safely, I might add). They talk about their high school films and still argue about who should be who. They make fun of each other for their high school crushes, knowing how deeply they used to affect them. For everyone, no matter how far apart they are, time turns back when they’re with their high school homies. And as if nothing ever changed, they turn into the same crazy kids they were back in high school.