me, my cowboy boots, and a heart full of hope
last homecoming!!! let's talk about it!!!!!!
a week ago i had my last high school homecoming, and i was surprisingly less nostalgic than i expected. for a girl who reminisces the last instagram story she just clicked on, the whole spirit week, float building, shebang kinda felt....... underwhelming.
even the earlier traditions of senior year haven't fulfilled the magical full circle moment i've been waiting for. in fact, i'm writing to you before i head to my last high school football game ever. ever! alas, nothing. no sparks, no tingles, just me, my cowboy boots, and a heart full of hope.
omg another thing! literally just submitted my first college applications!!!!!! it doesn't feel real... and yet it does... and yet it doesn't.
not even in a name-five-sensory-objects kind of disassociation, but in a life-is-so-much-more-than-this kind of way. at least for me personally, i know i'll have so much more fun in college that my brain goes straight to thinking of how much better those experiences will be comparatively—yes, not only do i compare myself to my younger self but to events that have yet to come into fruition, i'm a girl of many talents.
but i digress...
on the way to my traditional roberto's dinner preceding every homecoming dance of mine, i was talking to one of my best friends, katy, about the fact that we are old enough to drive alone together. ever since katy started driving me around (being my first friend old enough to legally drive other people), there would always be a brief moment in our car conversation when i would think back to my younger self, dreaming of the day i'd be able to just casually go out with my friends. i couldn't fathom the idea that we are finally old enough for all of this to finally be happening.
the small revelations i used to get so wrapped up in, i have already become accustomed to. it reminds me of this lyric from "getting older":
things i once enjoyed
just keep me employed now
things i'm longing for
someday i'll be bored of
the satisfaction that comes in the moment of things can be hard to seize sometimes due to the constant search we're doing for something bigger and better. i think a lot of the thrill is gone because of the expectations and pandemonium of the college app season among us, but i still expected to be more present and "feel something", if you will.
walking into the homecoming dance, it felt completely unlike the other two dances i had attended in previous years. with covid restrictions and accommodations, the whole dance was more of an event rather than a mosh pit & outdoor seating situation from before. everything was so opened up, where before we were confined to the stuffy gym and cafeteria. it was definitely different, but i think a lot of it had to do with the weeks leading up to it.
in the first half of my high school career, everything was so new and exciting that it almost feels funny to think that we're supposed to be most looking forward to our "lasts". of course i know part of this is the whole nostalgia aspect, and soaking in the last bit of something good, but if you really think about it, i feel like our "firsts" are just as important.
and maybe it's because when you anticipate something for so long, all the time you spend anxiously waiting is the most exciting part about the experience.
now that this is no longer our first rodeo, the whole process has become dull and the priorities go from experiencing everything for the first time, to finding new ways to find fun within a situation you have trusted to excite you beforehand.
suddenly the people you go with and the plans you have for—not only the main event, but—every second leading up to and succeeding the dance are equally as crucial to crafting the perfect night of nights.
despite the new scene, if you didn't have fun, clearly you were with the wrong group! anything can be enjoyable if you make it, and this goes for a lot of things in life.
nonetheless, i'm not sure how i'm supposed to feel in this strange season, but i'm trying to make the most of this time and that's all that matters.
for any youngers reading this: find your people or your person! seek out friends who will support you and cultivate a space of inclusivity.
annnnnnd for my olders: don't forget the child in you who once yearned for the milestones you've passed and remember to celebrate the kid inside you.