In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”
“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right. I hope you had the time of your life”
Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” is probably one song that I won’t ever forget. It’s really odd because this song always brings me back to my high school graduation day. This was a day that was such a relief while also being somewhat sad, emotional and all that crappy stuff that comes with negative emotions.
The culmination of my high school education was of course looking forward to going to college, throwing the cap, and starting fresh since everything in the past seemed so rotten. Everything that led up to the graduation was full of SAT prep classes that took up all my weekends, constantly disappointed parents, and a relationship that had gone horribly wrong. Let me recap a little so as to “justify” my negative outlook on my younger years.
SAT prep classes had made me consider suicide as an option early in my high school years. Of course, at an early age I was young and stupid, but at the time I felt the world was ending. My social life had dwindled from where friends would call daily to once every few days and finally hardly ever at all. Everything as far as social interaction only took place at school and once outside of school, I found myself isolated in library cubicles or in my room studying. My best friend became my SAT prep book…pathetic. Yes, I was being groomed to be someone successful later on in my life, but the impact it had on my psyche was quite substantial. I started to embrace the feeling of being alone and always ended up wearing headphones to school. I didn’t want to be bothered by outside noise; I just wanted to get the day over with without any disturbances and get to the next day. Weekends became days I dreaded because I’d spend my days in a cold, air conditioned room for about 8 to 9 hours just doing math problems, reading comprehension problems, biology questions, chemistry problems, and so on and so forth. There were times where I just wondered what the hell I was living for…was it truly worth this emotional and mental stress. Eventually this led me down paths where I’d just randomly shave my head or buy knives and razors to attempt cutting myself. The pain and the warm blood dripping down my wrist felt like such a relief, but at the same time I’d realize that I was being an idiot and clean myself up; how hard could my life be that I’d waste it by dying.
My parents were always extremely hard on me growing up and even more so during high school. My life moved the way they wanted it to and freedom seemed like an unattainable light at the end of a never-ending tunnel. I’m sure I didn’t have it as bad as some who deal with hunger or homelessness, but at the time I felt it was such burden…I was a teenager; no explanation needed there. Believe it or not, I was a very straight edge student. I went to church, did great in school, scored very well on my SAT’s, excelled in multiple SAT II’s and whatever else would make you normally be quite the good student; however, nothing was ever good enough. Those stereotypes and comedies where overbearing parents complain about an A when the kid could’ve gotten an A+ is quite real. I continued strive for what my parents would approve of, but no matter what I did it was never good enough. I was always this disappointment that they would never be satisfied by. Of course in my later years I said Fuck it and when my own way, but at the time it was something I wanted so badly. Even until the day I went to college, my parents weren’t happy with where I was going since it wasn’t where they had envisioned me going. Ivy League was their goal; what a piece of shit expectation parents put on kids. It’s emotionally scarring and you constantly feel that what you’ve done is never enough which eventually leads to you hating yourself since the two people who were supposed to love you seem to never approve of you either.
The relationship was my first and it ended right near graduation. With a whole lot of shit going on around us, we were determined to make it work, go to college together, and the whole idealistic crap young kids have in their heads after watching too many movies. We found ourselves stuck in a situation where nothing seemed to go right. Everyone didn’t like the fact that we were together and continued to ostracize us over nothing. The adults didn’t approve because apparently church is not a place where you should find your significant other… I still don’t understand the mentality of our pastor and his actions in turning everyone against us. Being young kids, we turned to different ways of coping with our issues and found solace in each other; it was fun at first but bad later on. What had started out from genuine interest turned into one another becoming merely a coping mechanism. Of course she hated me for ending things, but I noticed we were going down a dangerous path; I believed it would be the best course of action for the both of us. She’s married now so I guess it was a good decision.
So the song. It reminds me of these things quite vividly, but it does make me think and consider where I am today. I like who I am now, and all of these things in my past make up who I am. I’ve learned to appreciate myself much more each and every day. Every day is precious to me, and it is what I make of it; no one can change that or take that away from me. The things I’ve learned in my studies proved to be quite useful in college and very much so in every day life. I’ve learned to be strong in relationships and to truly be a man who can protect, lead, and love my significant other.
So it reminds me of many of the scars I have from back in high school and takes me back to a dreadful time that I’d much rather not be reminded of; however, it also reminds me of who I am now. Would I have done things differently? Probably, but I can’t. Shit is impossible to predict. Shit happens. I took it and became who I am now so I guess it adds up to experience more than a joyful occurrence, but I look back and think, “hell, I did have the time of my life and will continue to do so.”