With the school year coming to an end and teachers running to their freedom, it got us thinking about our high school years, especially as recently, it was announced that our high school-Riverdale High, would be closing its doors and a few weeks ago it was officially closed for good. Naturally, this got us thinking about our high school selves and looking at where we are now- what things would we have told our younger self, we have previously done a post similar to this Dear Younger Me, read on to our surprisingly emotional message to our high school selves.
I remember when we did our “Dear Younger Me” post, and part of me feels as if it didn’t mean as much to me, given the fact that I’m still as young as I am virtual hair flip, but then I thought about when I graduated from high school…that was actually such a long time ago now that I think about it. So hear goes! Dear younger me 2.0, or what I’d like to call it; Dear High School Rae. Join me on this journey, as I take a look at my high school years, and what I wish I could have told myself then, that I know now.
I have come to realize that not everyone is as fortunate as I was to have the opportunity to get through high school one day at a time, that it flew by quicker than my mind can imagine. I was never one of your typical “popular kids/jock”, I did my own thing, I spoke to my friends and perhaps one or two of your so called popular girls I could actually consider and call a friend, but I’ll be honest with you, I floated. I had nerdier friends, I had friends in the Leadership Club and the Basketball team, but I also had friends who were perfectly okay with not being a part of a “group”. I suppose you would say that I had a group of well rounded friends. That’s definitely something that I’m thankful for. I got the opportunity first hand to deal with people from various walks of life, and perhaps that had a lot to do with just how multicultural my high school was. We had exchange students, students who would transfer to the school every year from another school, and just about every nationality was accounted for and experiencing our high schools version of a Model UN helped us to become acclimatized to the various nations that are inbedded within the many cultures that we see on a daily basis.
All of this got me thinking, what would I have done differently if I had the chance. Better yet, what would I tell High School Rae, so here it is;
Dear High School R2,
Be you, because no one else can decide what/who being R1 truly is. You are surrounded with people that love you and know you to the core, that you are free to be whatever you want to. It may sound cliche, but have you ever stopped to think, why we are always there for one another as a family? We are a unit, and you are apart of that. You are loved, no matter what you decide to do with your life and the people you decide to associate yourself with, you are always loved. There are times when you may feel alone, and confused, but your circle of friends and family are there to lean on, that’s what they are for. They are there to support you, so don’t hesitate to confide in them, you are not alone on this journey that we call life. I find myself telling present me to breath, and just let things go. I wish that I had even considered letting things go. Not spending counting hours worrying about how others will see me, when I try to be honest and true to myself, while loosing who I am in the process. Your voice matters. It may hurt those around you to hear the truth that was asked of you, but to lie to those closest to you, will hurt more, than not being honest with those who have your back when you need them the most.
“Life isn’t easy my child, but it is worth living, when you have people to experience it with” – Anonymous.
Dear High School R1,
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
People say it, but really- don’t
Don’t worry about knowing what you want to do for the rest of your life,
You’re still trying to figure that one out,
Don’t bother trying to have the approval of others,
It’s not worth it,
The ones who matter, you will have no doubt of it,
The others, aren’t worth more of a thought,
Love without reservations and don’t carry the weight of previous relationships onto your next one. Trust me.
Stay single if you have to, in order to get to know yourself,
Don’t apologize for being you, for putting yourself first and for loving yourself,
Drop anyone who makes or tells you you’re selfish for any of the above,
Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself.
It will become a buzz word, but for good reason.
You will carry the weight of past scars and they will make you feel less than, make you attempt to shrink yourself to fit into their box,
You will see the world, visit places you only thought of,
Learn things about yourself you tried to hide, embrace it and don’t shy away from it,
To the planet.
Just. Be. Kind.
Life will be cruel, you will learn betrayal, you will learn heartbreak, you will learn what true & real friendships are.
Most of all, you will grow into yourself, you will learn what real love is.
You will see a miniature version of yourself in your daughter and will never know a love like it.
You will laugh, you will cry, but most importantly, you will heal.