The Outside Looking In

I have roughly around a dozen days left of high school. If you asked me how I felt about this today, you’d receive the same answer I would have given a year ago; I am joyfully terrified. High school is joyfully terrifying, every hour, class, and hallway passing period.

But it taught me how to embrace my fear, and how to walk into the building at 8 am with courage and a cup of coffee (or as close to 8 am as we can get, we’re high school seniors after all).

Lately, on my drive home from school, I’ve been hearing a song by Luke Bryan that makes me tear up (while driving). Fate always seems to send me messages when I’m behind the wheel of a vehicle, and I do my best to roll with the punches. But this song really gets me.

Yes, I may have just complained for 8 hours straight about how long and slow and boring the day was, but the second that song plays, I take all my whining back. Because it goes too fast. The individual days go by slowly, yes. But as I drive away from my friends, my family, and the only routine I’ve known for years, everything goes faster than I think.

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My beloved brother and I on the first day of my senior year.

I can best sum up high school to this analogy. When you’re younger, you’re on the outside of the glass cage, watching curiously and cautiously as the older kids interact on the inside. You learn how they form relationships, how they pass a football, how they dance at homecoming. You learn how they survive biology, how they have fun on the weekends, how they wear their plaid skirts, and how they grow before your eyes.

And then, one day you’re pushed into the cage, the suddenly vacant container which seemed to empty overnight. Now you’re on display, and everything becomes real because you’re no longer a spectator. This is your life, and this is happening to you now.

High school teaches us so much more than how to handle algebraic equations and read “Crime and Punishment”. It prepares you for leaving, and helps you remember how little time you have left before the “big unknown world” on the other side of the glass.

As I drive around in my car and cry to Luke Bryan, I feel deeply in my soul how joyfully terrified I am in these final moments. I will miss watching from the outside, and I will miss being on display from the inside. But most of all, I will miss the intense emotional rollercoaster of senior year, good times and bad.

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My beloved brother and I on the first day of kindergarten.

 

It just goes too fast.

Yours always,

Maddie

PS- I know this made you cry Mom, I’m sorry.

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