To my High School Friend

Dear Friend,

I know that it has been almost five years, but I just can’t help but think about those days. They were truly the worst days, but they were the best. There are so many things that you helped me with that you don’t understand. So many days where you were the only reason I went to school. Over the years I have grown and changed in so many ways, but there will always be our relationship that doesn’t change. We haven’t seen each other in years, but I know that our hearts are still connected. There’s a bond between us that will never be torn apart.

You didn’t know how much those sleep overs meant to me. Knowing that there was someone there that actually wanted to see me outside of school. Knowing that you cared enough meant a lot. It also gave me a chance to get away from my house. I’m not saying it was bad, but there were definitely times where I thought I couldn’t breathe, and being able to spend time away with you was wonderful.

Our hour long phone calls that annoyed my family were some of the best times. You had no idea what those meant to me. There were times where I wanted to stay in a deep depression and not talk to anyone at all. Then, I’d get a phone call from you. You were able to wash all those harmful thoughts out of my mind and let me escape for a couple hours with you. I sometimes wonder if I have ever laughed that hard since then.

Talking about all the horrible people we went to school with was some of my favorite conversations. Being able to hear someone else agree that those people were crap was very reassuring. You helped me to not focus on others word because if you didn’t like them, then why should I listen?

Your support was more than I deserved at times. You went to every single one of my performances. That meant so much. In one ear I was hearing people say how horrible I was and that directors were stupid for casting me in anything, and in the other ear I was hearing you ask about all the details of the stage. You actually cared, and didn’t think I was that bad. You were always the positive voice in my head.

There are so many more things I wish I could talk about, but it is not my place. While you never knew how low I was then, I didn’t know that you were also low. That those sleep overs meant more to you, because they kept out your demons. Your questions about theatre helped to paint a world that was different from what you knew. Those days where we never talked to each other, but walked side-by-side meant that you needed that company more than you needed words.

I wish that we had talked to each other about our difficulties, but I just wanted you to know that I have been honored by your friendship. I am glad that we could shine a light on each other’s darkness and be a true friend. I will never have another friend that will share what we have. We have both moved on, you more so than I. And even though those were our roughest days, I would never alter a single one in fear of loosing what we had.

So thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Why High School Mattered

In high school, I was surrounded by people who dress better, are more sociable, and have seemingly perfect lives; in comparison to mine. I believed that so much was important in high school. What I wore, who I talked to, and even what clubs I joined. It wasn’t until, in twenties, I saw yet another high school peer being arrested for drugs, that I realized just how silly it all was.

So why can’t I let go of it?

In high school, I was always trying to be different. I didn’t want to be just like my sisters. I wasn’t ashamed of them in the slightest, but I wanted for once for someone to recognize me for me, not my sisters. So I did crazy make up, wore strange colors, and did a bunch of theatre outside of school. I went to church regularly and joined the choir. That’s even where I met my first serious boyfriend. Not much worked though. Even though I would do a show with someone, once they met my sisters, I was no longer a friends. Just their friend’s little sister.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t infuriating. But, what can you do? Well it got to the point where it was just me at this school. My senior year. This was supposed to be my year. The year where everyone knew me, and they liked me. At this point I was single, and ready for college at the beach! I was just focused on getting out of there. I ended up as the president of three clubs; Improv, Vocal ensemble, and Play Productions. Those are all vote-ins. So I thought all was well. Right?

Well I would soon find out that basically everyone hated me. They all thought I was stuck-up and didn’t deserve and part in any show because I was such a horrible performer. All of this occurred on Face Book. You could imagine how I felt. These were people I considered friends, my theatre “family”. This was all said through one person, but did anyone stand up for me? Did anyone tell her that they didn’t agree and to shut up? Did anyone back me up?

No. In fact, one of my good friends told this person that they were amazing for saying what no one else had the guts to say. My entire world had fallen apart. Here I am, living my life happy as a clam, just to get slammed with the reality that everyone I knew hated me. It didn’t help that in college, my roommates went behind my back and registered for on-campus housing while I was out looking at 3-bedroom apartments for us.

Some people reading this would say, “So? Not everyone you meet is going to like you, get over it.” But see, you forget, this was in high school. Where everything had mattered to me. To this day, I can’t get close to anyone. What if they hate me too? What if I just annoy everyone I meet? Would it be better for everyone else if I just kept to myself?

I went into a deep depression in college. And I was beyond angry with myself that I let myself get close to people who just ended up hurting me all over again. I knew that people don’t like me. I knew that people will always betray me. So why did I let myself believe that I could be happy with these two? And why did I apologize to them for getting mad at what they had done?

High had a great impact on me. My current boyfriend is constantly telling me that it’s time to move on. Get over it. But how can I? Every single thing that makes me who I am, is because of what happened then. Why I would rather stay home watching Doctor Who, rather than going downtown. Why I spend hours doing my nails, rather than go out to eat. Why I delved into alternative methods of reminding myself that I was a loser, rather than asking friends for help. All because I would rather hurt myself than to let someone else hurt me again. No one should be able to hurt me that badly.

I know that high school is in the past. I know that many from high school are getting arrested. But I also know that those certain people that hurt me so much are living amazing lives. And many people I knew outside of high school now know them, and like them a lot more than they liked me. How am I supposed to cope with the fact that they were right? People don’t actually like me. They just put up with me long enough to find an escape.

There are so many articles explaining why high school doesn’t matter, and how it doesn’t teach you anything. But, for some people, it does. For some  people, the worst day of their lives were then. For some people, every moment of their life they remember what was said about them. For some people, they have yet to find the reason to forget it all.

I just hope that one day I will be able to stand proud of who I have become. I know it will be a while, but one day I will prove those girls wrong.

One day I will be happy with who I am.