Ten years ago today I graduated high school. As I sit here today reminiscing about those days I realize how easy life was back then. Of course as a teenager my life felt anything but easy.
I really didn’t have your “typical” high school experience. After a traumatic few years in junior high (I won’t go into it all right now because it’s long enough to fill a book) I headed into my tenth grade year ready to finally be a teen. Enjoying life to the fullest was the only thing on my to do list. That all started with my passion of singing and acting. I took two choir classes and soon after school started I was also in our school musical.
**This is where and when I met my husband. He was a senior in my high school. He was in both of my choir classes and stared as one of the leading male roles in the musical. We actually really started talking and getting to know each other during musical rehearsals.**
I worked at the Subway Sandwiches, that my mom managed, after school and weekends. (Needless to say my hubby ate a lot of sandwiches so he could see me.) So at 15 I spent my days at school, nights/weekends working, and any extra time at musical rehearsals. It was busy but that’s how I liked it.
After a few months dating my now husband (another long story that I should write in a book of my life) I became pregnant, dropped out of high school, started homeschooling and began working full time. Then four months into the pregnancy I became very sick. I miscarried. This was one of the saddest times of my life HOWEVER it was a huge blessing in disguise. We were not ready to raise a baby being babies ourselves. And being so young my body was not giving the baby the right nutrients so it would have been born unhealthy.
Since I had already dropped out of high school, I was falling behind in credits, and I was ashamed to return to school after my miscarriage.
My mom gave me two choices: 1- Get my GED or 2- Go to an alternative high school to catch up then return to my high school.
I chose to go to night and summer school to catch up. After 15 weeks I had caught up but I still didn’t want to return to my home town high school. So I petitioned to do my senior year at the alternative high school. I was accepted!
Through my high school years I kept some amazing friends, made some new friends, and continued dating my hubby (for the most part…we did take a few short relationship “breaks”). It certainly wasn’t a cake walk but all in all I have some amazing memories.
My senior year played a big part in the person I am today. I became very independent. I was still able to enjoy some “normal” high school traditions like prom with help from some good friends.
Then against all odds I graduated on time with 60 other students who all had similar struggles to mine. Unlike your “typical” graduation where the principal speaks then the valedictorian and salutatorian, we heard our teachers and fellow class members speak. They spoke about all we had overcame to be where we were. They spoke about the amazing people in our lives that helped us get to graduation day. They spoke from their hearts about the amazing teens we had all became regardless of the crappy hand life had dealt us. It was very emotional. I had always known I would graduate high school but never would I have thought I’d have to endure so many hurdles to get to that day.
My hurdles weren’t the “I have a test”, “I need help with homework” type of hurdles but the kind that make grown adults weep and wish their life to be over. I don’t feel sad for myself and I am no saint. HOWEVER I know I’m amazingly blessed to have people in my life like my mom, husband, step dad, siblings, and few high school friends that encouraged me, stood by me, and held my hand through those tough years!
Looking back I would only change one thing… I would have enjoyed it all more and worried much less.
To anyone reading this that is graduating high school this year… CONGRATULATIONS! Take time to enjoy each and every day of your life. Don’t sweat the small stuff. AND Be the type of person you want to be friends with ALWAYS!
P.S. To those of you now doing the math…Yes, I am a young mom with FOUR kids. Yes, I was married to my husband/high school sweetheart (the guy you see in the pictures above) before we gave birth to our first son, we did learn our lesson there. No, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life!!