The One When We Graduate in 2016

In this past week, my final year of education as a child into a hopefully somewhat capable adult has been completed. And as I continue on into this summer, I am getting ready to move on my own into university by sniffing new options of body wash at work and believing that this is a good thing. Both the body wash and new beginnings.

Because I will be completely honest in telling you all that my praised magical high school experience..well it sucked. A few moments of laughter pulled me through to these moments of black robes, and a diploma the school threatens constantly not to give you if you are late, have a penny overdue in you lunch account, or your teacher had yet to put your grade in the grade book. 

"Do. You. Un-der-stand??" The new principal who enunciates as if training a new dog who pissed on the kitchen floor instead of sending humans out into the world, said more than once. "All. Of this work. MUST. Get done. Or you will NOT graduate." During one of the three meetings before the ceremony actually happened, I prayed that one of the honors students would raise their hand, "Um, what if we have a 4.26786 grade point average. 
Reflecting back: 7th grade Kendra at camp
after diving into the stream.

"Does that mean we fail and don't graduate?" 

"No. Matter who. You are. You. Will. Not...graduate." 

The girl sitting next to me with the awesome symbol tattoo on her back would probably spit out her passion tea she had been sipping. Or at the least give an amused shake of her head like she did listening my round of explicit under my breath each time principal opened his mouth. It was early and I was low of caffeine.

On the day of graduation though, I already knew who was going to be the criers. You know that ones. There must be a few of them in every class, just like there is always one person who completed the statistic of teen pregnancy. All dolled up in this gown they are going to be sitting with their contoured faces until the end when they are sobbing like a raccoon that just got hit by your grandmother's car.

Low and behold I was not disappointed.

Also, low and behold, I am not a crier. Seriously, tissues in the second grade were being passed around when Felicity's grandfather died in the American Girl Doll movie, and I grabbed one and dabbed at my dry, soulless retinas. Same thing happened again on the last night of seventh grade camp when they shipped half the class each week out to the woods to become better people and get soaked from always potential downpour. Only there, I had a great time swimming in the creek we were not supposed to be swimming in (we were supposed to be finding interesting creepy crawlers), and still think upon the event fondly when a counselor who dared me to, thinking I wouldn't do it, had to dunk himself too.

I have a feeling that if the Kleenex supply girl who had the extra pack of to go tissues in her bag, showed up to my graduation, many would be pleased while I put a hand up with a smile that belonged to the devil. 

"No, thanks. I'm good." 

"Aren't you...aren't you sad?" One of the criers with globs of mascara still clinging to life on her lashes, was hugging onto a friend that she hadn't hung out with since middle school. "I mean it's over. This whole thing is over." 

"Thank god," is what I should have said. Instead I smiled and nodded in complete somewhat understanding towards her.

Because I do understand. Sure, there is sadness in happiness, but there is a whole lot of other emotions that are also there beneath it all. I may be soulless when happy crying (seriously, never happened), but sure, like camp, there are good memories in this school my friends whether they meant it the way I did or not referred to as a hell hole. I simply look back at them in a sort of peace. Whether they add up to have had a greater impact on me than when I was teased and called "vampire girl" because I reread the Twilight series a few too many times after finding my love and passion for books, still and forever will, remain a mystery.

It's a good thing that I like mysteries. Especially the one I have grown into and will take on the mystery of a future as.

I can't wait.


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