high school graduation memories

Life Lessons since my HS Graduation…20 years ago…

Guys! I was just casually scrolling through my social media page while on a lunch break when I saw a post from a HS friend congratulation all of us on reaching 20 years. Wait! What?! Sure enough, I remembered that it has been twenty years since I graduated from my rural county high school. How amazing is
that? How cool is it?

I remember being so excited that I had “made it”. I was graduating high school, had been accepted to college, was leaving behind the poverty and vacuum that I felt my home county was. Wow, I had NO clue. It’s been a great 20 years and I’m super thankful, but as I was reminiscing I realized there were quite a few things I’ve learned in the journey after 17.

1.  Everyone won’t be there with you, but cherish the ones who are.   Back before schools could graduate in the auditoriums of colleges or in special event centers, our senior classes graduated in the high school gymnasium on the campus. You actually walked back to the buildings after graduation was over and picked up your diploma. When I graduated, I remember stopping and hugging the neck of so many, but especially three young ladies who’d been friends of mine throughout my academic career. We promised to stay close and never lose touch. I remember similar words being said to me all day, but those three ladies have kept them. We’ve been through death, births, marriages, divorces, laughter, and tears together. I’m thankful for over 20 years of friendship with them. The ones who fell to the wayside are still loved, but the ones whom I can email or call right now will ALWAYS be a part of my heart.

2. Don’t hold on to who you were. Embrace whom you are to become. Look, change is inevitable. You can’t be the same person you always were. No one cares about that epic band trip from sophomore year or the fact that you were SGA President your senior year. None of that matters. A favorite quote says “Success is not measured in the ability to accomplish a task, but rather in the ability to accomplish that task again.” You graduated? Good for you. Now do it again. That doesn’t necessarily mean school either. Graduate to your next station in life and don’t hold on to who you were.

3. You are going to fail and that’s okay.  Man, I wish someone had been honest with me about this one. Those I knew who went through school made it seem like they had it all together and made no mistakes. Lies! You’re going to make bad choices and you’re going to fail. That’s okay. It’s not the failure that is important. It’s what you do after that is.

4. Write the vision and make it plain. I’ve posted here before about how I wrote down what I wanted to achieve out of life and where I wanted to be in 2, 5, and 10 years. Then I put the list away revisiting it in on occasion. It helped and my subconscious caught up amazingly well. It’s crazy to see how God fulfilled the desires of my heart. Write down your goals and don’t be afraid to adjust. You can make it!

5. You can’t go back. This ties into number 2, but it goes deeper. As you grow up and experience things, you will sometimes get overwhelmed. You’ll want to go back to what is familiar, to what is safe. You can’t. It won’t be the same. Sometimes I want to go home and sit on my front porch and think, as I did when I was in high school and something troubled me. I did so a while back and was disappointed because it didn’t “feel the same”. The background noise was off. My great grandmother wasn’t in the background singing hymns because she is no longer living here. The smells were done. She wasn’t cooking my favorite foods to make me feel better. What was is gone and will never again occur. That’s okay. Cherish the memories, but don’t languish in them. Make new ones and blaze a new trail.

So, there you have it.  I’ve been reminiscing all afternoon with people on my social media accounts about our good old high school days.  What a fun time and what a really cool experience.  I pray my children have good memories when it is their turn.

In the mean time, have a beautiful evening.

-K

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