It’s happened, I’m now far enough out of high school to speak about it with a modicum of authority, or wistful nostalgia. A full decade has passed (plus) and I’m to the point where I forget how old I am, so I have to remind myself of my birth year and count forward, slowly. I’ve amassed a few paragraph’s worth of knowledge and I come bearing good (and some bad) news. Let’s start on a high note…
By now you know, it doesn’t matter if you were cool in high school. The real world literally gives zero fucks. Chances are, Ashley who was really popular, a complete bitch, and had a seemingly endless supply of jeans from The Buckle has had her share of hardships. Maybe she’s divorced, or perhaps she’s 30 pounds heavier, rest assured that tragedy didn’t knock at her door and ask, “How many girls wanted to be you in high school?” before it decided whether or not to destroy her life. Job applications don’t ask how many points you scored, what table you sat at, or how many times you got asked to prom. Something cool happens though, the resentment will eventually simmer and you’ll find yourself rooting for everyone. And by rooting I mean, indiscriminately wishing happy birthday and thumb upping on Facebook. You will buy LuLaRoe or Shakeology from anyone and a cute baby is a cute baby, amiright?
Plus, part of growing up is understanding that withholding forgiveness from mean girls is hurting you more than them. Let’s stop crucifying individuals for things they did when they were still in their teens.
Everything changes. Mostly clothing. 10 years ago I wanted my jeans to ride so low butt crack was a given. Now I prefer it if my waistband grazes my belly button. The support is luxurious, holds all the late 20’s and beyond in. It’s likely the only thing you’ve used your flat iron for these days is to curl your hair. The lesson: nothing is permanent (except the damaging effects that the tanning bed had on your skin).
Everything is more complicated. Cars have batteries that need to be replaced and homes have gutters that need to be cleaned. You’re into saving money now, but that can be a challenge because every time you start, you have to contact a Locksmith, Electrician, or a Plumber. Shit is always breaking and it’s not your parents’ job to fix it anymore. Destiny’s Child’s – Bills Bills Bills was just a catchy song with a good beat, now I need to know, “CAN YOU PAY MY BILLS?!” The chorus reads like a first date questionnaire.
You’d go through the lunch line and pick up your nachos and Bosco sticks, after school you’d enjoy some Totino’s pizza rolls, and OG’s endless soup, salad and breadsticks was the height of decadence. A slowed metabolism happens to everyone, but you. 26 came and went and you smiled smugly to yourself, you didn’t pause before getting that late night Crunch Wrap because your assumptions had been confirmed and you were in fact genetically superior. If you’re on the other side of 30, well I don’t need to rub it in. We are all in this soft smooshy body thing together. If you’re still in a position to get fast food after 11pm without regret, well, your days are numbered, get extra sauce.
Sundays aren’t the worst anymore. The last day of the week used to come with an overwhelming feeling of dread, homework had to be done and if you stayed up until MTV’S 10 spot, you’d surely regret it. Now they start with brunch and end with Big Little Lies, Game of Thrones, or 5 episodes of The Voice. Or you’re a parent and all of the days of the week suck equally, weekends a little less so because you don’t have to do the job you get paid for AND take care of humans. Either way, Sundays are infinitely better post HS.
Now I have to come at you with some serious cheese factor, but this is the truth: high school was about trying to fit in with other people, post high school is figuring out what makes you stand out. Take a look at any of your photos from high school and chances are you’ll see a group of friends with similar graphic T-shirts, white eye liner, and really bad eyebrows. You didn’t know better; you would have sold your mother for an Abercrombie gift card. The further you get away from HS, the less fucks you have to give about how people perceive you. For instance, seemingly everyone is obsessed with LuLaRoe right now… had this of been 2005, I too would have draped my body in fireworks, hot dogs, and tribal print, because I’d rather be cool than different. I would have told my mother that she is the worst mother in the history of mothers for not mortgaging our house for LuLa. But high school is over, so I can respect your decision to rock it, while avoiding tapestries that make me dizzy.
The boys, songs, and small town all had their moment. And there’s few things better than putting all 3 together in that hometown bar, but let’s agree that we’d tarnish the memories if we walk down memory lane more than a few times a year.
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