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High School: A Beautifully Tragic Time

Me my Sophomore year, grungy hair and all.

Today’s post is inspired by a conversation I had with the lovely and encouraging blogger Mfon at Dainty M. She wrote a creative post on the good ol’ days of high school, and it sparked some of the memories I had.

It truly is amazing what we remember from our adolescence. The good, the bad, and the ugly all blend into a crazy mix of nostalgia that is hard to resist. So here we go, back in time to my (sort of) good ol’ high school days…

My eyes would blink open in sticky bitterness as I contemplated on why on earth I should be getting up at 5:20 in the morning. The sun wasn’t even up yet, and here I was expected to sludge myself around and be showered and dressed for school before my mom had to work. It didn’t make it any easier that I often stayed up all night, crying restlessly until midnight or later as depression tried to swallow me whole.

But high school wasn’t all a nightmare. Waiting for me was always my best friend Paige and the outcast crew–full of nerds, anime lovers, video game junkies, and emo kids. Often times we met at the wall to talk before class started.

The hallways often smelled of sweat, pencil lead, and cafeteria food. I hated going home with it permeated into my clothes. I would look in the bathroom mirror, scrutinizing the greasy bangs and dark circles under my eyes. As the popular girls straightened their long blonde hair and perfected their eye liner, I scrunched mine with gel and mousse until it was a perfectly greased tousled mess.

Between that and my Converse sneakers, dark eye makeup, and Avril Lavigne tees, I was grunge personified. Sometimes I really miss those days, and I can still remember the scent of the hair gel melting into my hands.

I strived for the 4.0 GPA that never arrived. Oh well, I gave it my best shot. My 3.82 would have to suffice.The stupid bio teacher my freshman year hated me, and that C+ never ceases to haunt me.  I  did ace AP bio–or at least the second semester. Trigonometry was a nightmare that I can’t seem to forget. At least I had some of the best friends in the world to partake in the suffering. They were actually quite popular, and we would take pictures of the answer keys on our cell phones when the teacher wasn’t looking.

I hopped around various academic clubs, never really committing to anything other than a charity club that actually cared about helping the community. I made it into Honor Society by good grades and a teacher who had faith in me. I hated almost everyone in there except for like three friends. But hey, at least I got my tassels.

And then there was love. Where do I begin? How about my freshman year art teacher, the cutest most sweetest guy on the planet. Girls who couldn’t draw a stick figure sold their souls to the smell of acrylic paint just to be in the same room with him. But he knew the authentic artists. One of the highlights of my life was when I was having trouble with my self portrait and he drew my lips. The real life, P-G version of Titanic anyone could be jealous of.

Then there was my first boyfriend. Tall, with dark curly hair, broad shoulders, and eyes the color of root beer glistening in the sun. He always wore a leather jacket and white tee shirt, and my bother said he looked like the Fonz.

My first good kiss (not counting freshman year homecoming) that knocked me off my feet was with this boy at a movie theater on Valentine’s Day. Too bad it is now shut down. I was 16 going on 17, and had no idea how to live without him. Of course we fell apart, but those seven months will forever be pivotal–for better or for worse.

There were more dates and boy drama in the years that followed, and there was more love to be found and lost. My three friends always stuck though, and I regret not investing more time into those relationships. Whether we were hunting for Monster High dolls, going out for pizza at lunch, or hiding out at the library pretending to study, it was always a good time.

Even through the drama and tears of the tragedies of puberty, we got through them with a hug and a pinkie swear. I’ll never forget dropping my pride after a fight with Paige. After a month without speaking we decided our friendship was greater than whatever had come between us. I never hugged anyone so hard, and I wish I could still go back to to that wall–where our friendship blossomed toward adulthood.

High school. The good ol’ days filled with greasy hair, eye liner, chipped nail polish, insecurities, heart break, angst, cafeteria food, first romances, and my first encounter with the Living God. Where my pain and sin met the cross that slowly but surely healed me. A beautifully tragic time I never want to forget. 

~Written by Emily at © 2016


High school–A beautifully tragic time.


Thanks for reading! Did this spark any memories of your high school days? Tell me in the comments below!

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  • agmoye

    I’ve pretty much blanked out High School since it was so many years ago but I can still understand how trying it was. We were constantly moving so I didn’t get to spend much time with any certain group to form ties that last.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thanks for commenting! It must have been hard to keep changing schools. Hopefully this brought up some (pleasant) memories for you.

  • Dainty M

    This definitely beat my expectations! 😊 I love it Emily! Glad you went for it. The pictures are oh so lovely! 😍
    Ah! The description of the first boyfriend was like a leaf taken off a romantic novel 😏
    BTW, this could totally pass for a high school movie 😃 I could easily imagine you in the scene. Lol. Thanks for sharing Emily. I’m glad it’s a memory one can embrace without feeling so bad about the past. And now, we create memories we could relive in the coming years! God bless you Emily! Xx

  • Ariel

    This is so great.

    “Girls who couldn’t draw a stick figure sold their souls to the smell of acrylic paint just to be in the same room with him” is my favorite line in your entire entry.

    Thanks for sharing your memories and a tiny piece of your heart with us. 🙂

  • Jeffrey H. King

    Maybe those pictures above don’t fully capture the grunge you describe. You seem a very attractive young girl with a nice smile!

    High school memories? Well, I went to DeVilbiss High School. School Mascot? The Tigers! School colors? Black& orange! Senior prom? Looked like a Halloween party. Sponsored by McDonald’s. Inspired the following poem for my girlfriend:

    Today’s your birthday, so I hear,
    But whatever can you do?
    You’re juvenile and everything’s taboo!
    My heart goes out to you, my child,
    As you try to whoop it up,
    With orange juice instead of Rothschild’s
    In a Ronald McDonald cup.
    But don’t be sad, and tell your Id,
    “Be bright & full of cheer?
    So what if you’re a little kid?
    It’s just for one ore year!”
    And before your heart soars like an eagle,
    recall that you’re not quite yet legal.

    And that’s when the fight started.

    The 17th Birthday Blues brought to you by yours truly.

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