I’m not quite sure if it’s the intense Melbourne heat getting to me or if I’ve just had too many ‘special’ brownies to make good decisions but here I am planning my 10 year High School reunion with one of the best humans on the planet, via text. Who, coincidentally, just happens to be one of my longest and dearest friends.
Within 24 hours of creating a page on FB for the Class of ’07, we had almost 200 familiar faces blowing up our iPhone notifications and we knew the ball was officially rolling. This of course led to insane amounts of FB stalking to see what everyone has been up to for the last 10 years.
Babies, marriages, houses, travel, dream jobs and heartache; we’ve all been down a different path but the memories of where we’ve come from were flooding in at a frightening speed. It got me thinking about how much we’ve all grown as humans and just how bizarre life truly is.
I’ve spent the last week looking through old year book photos and scrolling through pictures on my MacBook from a time when MSN messenger was a sophisticated communication tool, every girl I knew had thin eyebrows and we were too busy making ringtones on our Nokia 3315’s to notice how much life was about to change.
We had no idea how the world worked, how real our lives were going to get and just how unprepared we were to be set off into our futures. I saw the naivety in our eyes, the pure love we had for each other and the hope we held on to of remaining #bestfriendsforever.
High School wasn’t exactly a joy for me – or anyone I suspect. I failed Maths (because I didn’t pay attention) but refused to switch to an easier class because Mr Pacey was the tits. I wore pink Etnies and coral necklaces – because, duh! and my report cards always outlined I was a distraction to others and I should spend less time talking and more time learning.
I found my calling while simultaneously debating facial piercings and same-sex graduation partners with the Principal. Would it really shock any of you to know I created a full-blown presentation to allow us to order ridiculous winter Senior Jerseys in a town that suffers through weather to rival that on Mars or in the depths of Hell? Needless to say, our request was denied. I’m still not over it.
The truth is I was a musical theatre geek who obsessed over MySpace and desperately wanted to be liked; by everyone. I hated all the parts of myself that I was yet to understand and I placed way too much importance on others opinions of me; instead of my own. I was confused, awkward and scared.
Life was of course, much easier then and as always; hindsight is so bittersweet.
If I could travel back in time, I would have a few things to tell that little weirdo between the ages of 13-17; but I can’t. Even if I could, she never would have listened. So, I’m going to write them down here for all of you and maybe you’ll take a trip down memory lane and grab your old photo albums out for a laugh too.
- Don’t worry when all your hair falls out from over bleaching and goes down the drain in your best friends bathroom. It’s just hair; it’ll grow back. Also, neither of you are qualified to be doing your own hair, but you’ll never stop doing it.
- There is some truth to the theory that boys are mean to the girls they like. These boys are actually prepubescent Fuckboys who are yet to reach their final form. They will though and they will follow you into adulthood. Beware.
- Don’t feel weird about having crushes on all of your friends; there’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re a queer kid and someday you’ll realise you weren’t the only gay in the village.
- You’re a rebel and I like that about you but teachers and other parents might think you’re a troublemaker. They aren’t exactly wrong but you’re not a bad kid; just different.
- You can sing, you idiot. Audition for all of the things and stop being so fucking shy/coy.
- Speaking of performing, that bunch of weirdos you’re spending Thursday afternoons with in Drama are your people. You’ll be surrounded by creative types your entire life and it’s because your love for them starts now.
- Don’t spend too much time holding onto the words of those who aren’t able to appreciate your differences. The things they say, says more about them than it does about you.
- Do skip Mr Wagners Film & Television class to run through cane paddocks, drive out to the beach, have random adventures at Crystal Cascades and get super baked to watch Horror Movies. These will be some of the best memories of your life.
- Stop gluing your socks to your shins so that they stay up. It’s so fucking stupid.
- You will stay in contact with some of your friends and others will slowly disappear. Life happens. You’ll never truly be able to understand how much you’re going to appreciate those friendships years later when they’ve always got your back; even if it’s from afar.
10 years ago I never would have imagined I would be living in my dream city, working towards my dream job and surrounding myself with the dreamers; people just like me.
I’ve always been so focused on moving on, moving away and moving into myself that I’ve tried to suffocate my memories. It may be scary to face your demons, old boyfriends and misplaced friendships but here we are; doing it.
Here’s to the awkward fumbling teenager that lives on in all of us. Here’s to celebrating our success, surviving and adulting for 10 whole years. Finally, here’s to all the tequila shots I’m going to need before I walk into our High School reunion and tell everyone I invented the Post It.