Senior year was a crazy ride. From the moment our class succeeded at class games on school retreat, I knew something incredible was in the making. It was quite the contrast to the previous three years of high school which had been a drag when it came to class unity. For the most part, the people in our class just acted as complements to the other classes. I liked to think of our class as salt. Adding salt to food makes the food better (usually). When we joined our cliques in other classes, we fit in somewhere. Something throughout the years had left us disconnected for some reason. Instead of being one cohesive unit, we were sectioned off into our groups that interacted when we had to. This made long periods of time together painful without the buffer of other classes. Perhaps it was our maturity or maybe it was the Rope Game, but the bonding at Broken Arrow Ranch was monumental to say the least. After that, a whole new class seemed to evolve from the dysfunctional pieces. My freshman brother’s complaints gradually got less and less valid as the year went on. We were our own people. Our own class. Not perfect, but something I became proud of as the year progressed.

Because it was senior year, most of us had very few classes. This made for a lot of free time which was mainly spent in our “senior room”. Who could have thought that something so simple could make for so many good times? Hours upon hours, day after day, week after week we would sit there and just talk. Like changing channels on the TV, our talks stretched from the ridiculous to the really serious. But no matter what was said, the time together was usually good. In addition to the senior room, our free time was taken by random endeavors. Rolling paper towel down the hallway, making a costume out of a card board box, making quick runs for pop or Ramen, soaking books in water with the intention of making cake with them, and many other things. All of the events we did together bonded us closer and made for some priceless memories.

By the time the last few weeks before graduation hit, I realized that the end was at hand. The norm that I’d grown accustomed to, the place that I’d fit into for four years, was approaching its end. A broken feeling started weaving its way throughout me. I began defeating myself before the time had even come. I often find myself suffering anxiety and depression before an event takes place. I build it up to be something so much worse than it really turns out to be. Therefore, the month or so leading up to graduation was a sad time for me. Some people were so ready to be done with high school and move on with life, but I felt like it was ending. However, I didn’t realize that it was only a PART of life that was reaching its completion. I shoved down bad moods to make the most of class trip and choir tour. And… those times were some of the best times I’ve had. Very little could compare to the relaxation I felt on the beach at San Diego during class trip. Or the bliss we experienced being able to let loose and just be ourselves, living up every last second of high school.

Despite my moping, the actual graduation weekend wasn’t nearly as sad as I’d anticipated. Even as friends and loved ones came through line hugging and congratulating me, I didn’t lose my composure or breakdown or anything that I’d worried about before. It was honestly a relief to not experience dreaded emotions as I’d expected. It felt… happy 🙂 That feeling was amplified, of course, by the abundance of green-filled graduation cards.

The next week or two went by with much enjoyed laziness before the stresses hit again. The job I’d been hunting fell through. Apathy had my motivation in a chokehold. College was eminent. ADD pulled in every direction. My friends seemed to have everything together and planned already. Job. College. Plans. Job. College. Plans. I started feeling like everything was spinning around me, yet just out of reach. The only thing I was REACHING for was the Xbox controller to play Halo “REACH” and that wasn’t getting me anywhere. Every day was square one all over again. I kept hoping that things would just solve themselves. That one day I’d open my eyes to my future. That I’d suddenly experience structure of some sort. However, to my surprise… nothing got accomplished. I hate how low it seems I have to get at times to finally wake up to reality. I wasted away, pretending things were alright, when on the inside, I felt stale and useless. As usual, Satan continually bombarded me with thoughts of failure. I felt stuck in between destinations, waiting for my train to come to take me to the next stop.

However, I finally realized that the time had come to quit mourning the past and start embracing the future. Without even my asking, God unlocked doors in my head and got me moving again. That was about the time I punched myself in the face, realizing I should have just asked in the first place. My life began feeling like Tetris; Things started falling into place. I got a job, which began a framework around my days. I turned in things for college, which set the next stage of life in motion. God helped pick me up out of the depressing rut I was stuck in and started me on the path again. Its like we’re running a race in life. Some people have focus and determination. Some have plans and ambitions. Others want to pace themselves and get where they’re going in tact. Still others are like me and require much guidance, many rests, and sometimes just want to pause to inspect flowers along the way. All in all, its a matter of getting to where we’re going. I’m not to the end yet, just caught in between two stops. Learning to grow up. Discovering who I am. Adapting to change. Preparing for the next four years. I can’t wait to see what’s in store 🙂