Friday, August 21, 2009

High School Days


Okay, I know a lot of people might laugh at this. Many people will think I'm totally strange. There don't seem to be very many people in the world who want to re-live high school. But I do. Those days were the most carefree, fun days of my life. It might seem pathetic to you, but let me explain why I feel that way.

I had a part-time job and was therefore earning my own money. My parents didn't pay for anything fun that I did (eating out, buying new clothes, etc.), but I was able to pay for that myself by working. Given some responsibility and trust by my parents, I was allowed to drive one of their cars as my own as long as I stayed out of trouble and paid for the fuel. I was involved in cheerleading and choir in high school. During my senior year, I was dating a really nice guy and had a really solid and close-knit group of friends. We hung out every Friday night after sporting events (which were well-attended by the high school crowd) and most Saturday nights went out on big group dates, when I wasn't working. My group of friends were solid in the Church, so on Sundays, we spent the days with our families and attending church.

And the future. There was SO much in the future to look forward to. So many paths to take and options to choose from. So much to wonder about...where my friends would get called on missions, whom we would marry, how many children we would have, where we would end up living. And the dreams and hopes that hung on those questions...owning a home, having a good education and good job, planting roots somewhere nice, etc.

For me, living it is not as much fun as hoping for it was. I guess because my ideals and expectations of the future have not turned out at all how I wanted them to. I've been disappointed in more ways than one. Today, we closed on our home. We bought our home 4 years ago when the market was sky high. Then it crashed. We had to do a short sale due to relocation and we just closed on it today. We are no longer homeowners. That dream of owning a home and putting down roots has been lost to me for now. Most of my friends are living that dream and not losing it like me. They have their nice homes, their jobs, their wonderful families with children who are perfectly smart and talented, and they have put down roots. My roots have been torn away from me. I have to start all over AGAIN. For the 25th time in my life.

High school was great. When I picked up Westley at school, I saw a group of cheerleaders at the school handing out flyers for something. These were girls from the new high school handing out flyers to girls at the middle school (actually, K-8 school). In that moment, my stomach leaped when I remembered how fun it was to run out on that track, tumbling and jumping and cheering, on a Friday night at a football game. I was jealous, jealous for a split second that they had their whole futures ahead, they had upcoming fun events to attend, and I was sitting in my minivan with three small children, sweating to death in the 105 degree humid heat waiting for the final bell to ring, with nothing to do on my Friday night but watch dumb TV shows and surf the Internet.

I know there's still a lot of future ahead and a lot can happen, but a lot of the things I was looking forward to doing and discovering have already been done. I've done college. I've taught school. I've gotten married. I've had four children. And some roads have been closed. I will probably never again have the opportunity to develop certain talents that seem to be offered only to the young, and at the same time, know full well that in our financial situation I might not be able to offer these same opportunities to my children.

Nope, life has not led me where I had hoped. I know for some that is the big adventure in it all, but right now, in this situation I am currently in, I feel only disappointment, not excitement.

So that is why tonight I am missing my carefree, hopeful high school days.


4 comments:

Devin & Ruthann said...

Does Corey know you feel this way?

Khourt said...

I just wanted to offer hugs and a sympathetic ear. While my high school days certainly arent something I would want to re-live (I was quite horrible then) I can understand not being at where you thought you would be. Hang in there. Things will get better. Heavenly Father wil help you

swedemom said...

I'm so sorry you are struggling, Jenna. Just so you know, not all your friends are living the dream of a home with roots and a perfect family.

We are still renting and have rented since we married. Brent has a temporary job and we have no idea where we'll be going in a year. I want some roots too and the dream of owning our own home is just too far away to even contemplate. Oh, and we just moved a couple of weeks ago because of a tough situation with our landlord.

I'm sorry that life is so much harder than you hoped it would be. I guess it really depends on perspective. For me, high school was SO hard. I felt so out of place, finding friends and finding a niche for myself. I wanted nothing more to get out of school and move away from all the people who put me in a tiny box of judgement. Going to college, then marrying and living life have been much more fulfilling. Hard,yes. Devilishly hard. Sometimes forcing me to cry as if I would never stop. But somehow, not having to deal with cliques, petty selfishness, rude judgements and the smallness of a small town, I don't mind the hard things I've had to face as a grown up. Don't get me wrong. I wish I didn't have to deal with finances, lawyers, nasty landlords, etc.

Anyhow, hang in there my dear.

royalbird said...

Yes, I guess it is all in perspective. I think the thing that made high school so great for me was having such great friends. I learned early on that with friends, it's not quantity that matters, but quality. That's probably what made growing up so enjoyable. I had some great friends along the way. Not very many, only a few, but the ones I had were great. I know nobody's life is easy, and these are hard financial times, but I have to wonder why I looked forward to THIS with such anticipation. If I had only known, I think I would have enjoyed my youth more while I was in it.

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