High School (Or How I Learned To Love Myself And Hate Rice Pudding)

High School. It seems fitting that it is a sentence by itself. It’s a statement. The phrase draws up memories and makes some people think that the past was rose colored and filled with good times and good friends.

These people were on drugs in high school. Some pot and maybe just a hit of acid.

High school, for most kids, is a brutal, soul-crushing gauntlet of emotions and hormones that make you want to run screaming through the streets and beat trees with algebra books. As adults, we want to look back at our experience through the fog of time and relive the good times without the bad. I personally want to take the bad with the good.

I had amazing friends in high school (Angela and the whole FNL crew …  I’m looking at you). We had some incredible times together. Road trips and birthdays. Watching The Lost Boys for the first time at Jen and Heather’s house. Trevor and his thing for Phil Collins. Trying to sit in the back seat of Angel’s bug. The Rose Parade. Watching 90210 at Shrina’s house and passing around old crime scene photos (you really had to be there). These were the good times.

For me though, a lot of high school was spent being afraid. Afraid of people finding out I was gay. Afraid of not passing my classes. Afraid of not being what everyone thought I should be.

Getting out of high school was a godsend for me. I felt like I was finally free of my fears, though as an adult you just get new ones, I didn’t know that at the time. I was able to express myself, however I chose to do it.

I came out the first week of college to one of my professors in paper I wrote for a class. I got an A and a note thanking me for sharing my experience. That was an amazing experience. It meant so much.

I would have never done that in high school. I made the mistake of wearing all yellow to school one day as a sophomore. I was still a toe head at the time. My friend Robin took one look at me, snorted, and called me Big Bird for the rest of the year. There are pictures of how blond I was in my Facebook profile if you need proof. Go look, I’ll wait.

Are we back yet? Good. Did you have fun down memory lane? Good.

I want to remember high school the way it was, good and bad. It made me who I am now. I have to remember all of it, or none of it mattered.

***

The title is in reference to that our school cafeteria sometimes served rice pudding with the meals for kids who had tickets. The tickets you got once a month and allowed you to eat breakfast and lunch at school because your parents were “low income”. I never liked rice pudding before that experience and I hated it after.

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