Ten years ago I was 17 and on the brink of entering my senior year of high school. I had just become captain of my high school cheerleading squad and thought pep rallies and half times were life or death. I was involved in several school clubs including student council and was also on a competition squad made up of girls from our county and several surrounding counties as well. As far as actual school went, I was in all honors classes, but it wasn't really my cup of tea. I didn't know how to study and I was the kind that needed to.
I'd have a crash course in that two years later.
I was uptight and probably had stomach ulcers from stress. I didn't drink. I thought I would make mistakes that I wouldn't want to own up to. Later I found out I was right. I didn't smoke...anything. I thought I would like it too much. I didn't curse. In general I tried to not do things I shouldn't. The only trouble I got into involved two speeding tickets.
Oh the days of innocence.
I had a couple of girlfriends but for the most part I liked to hang out with the guys. The soccer team more specifically. Girls didn't really interest me. I wasn't into field parties, or trying to flirt with all the guys. I was too blunt and honest to have many girlfriends. I wasn't into petty nonsense. Not that girls didn't like me, they did (as far as I know), I just didn't put forth much effort.
I wish someone had told me how important women would be later on in life.
I was surrounded by a circle of guy friends and one close girlfriend. My house was the hangout house, mostly because we had a pool and a playroom. They showed up pretty much everyday during the summer and every weekend during the school year. They were the kind of friends where you didn't have to say a thing if something was wrong...they knew. It was nice having a close group of friends around at all times. The kind where one look could tell you the whole story.
Sometimes I miss those days.
I had a car (a gold Saturn two door), but I didn't drive much. I had guy friends for that. I still prefer to not drive to this day (unless it's a long trip...for some reason I like driving then). If I was driving, I was probably carting around my little sister who was two years younger than I and her best friend. They would both sit in the front seat half out the passenger side window, half hanging out the sunroof. They would drive me nuts. It's a miracle I didn't have a wreck. They were so exhaustingly happy and adventurous.
Three years later, I'd be wondering what happened to that happy go lucky sister of mine.
I had a couple of boyfriends, but only one that really stole my heart. He tasted like Winterfresh gum and smelled like Curve. He was two years younger than me (apparently I have a thing for the younger ones) and made my life a hell of a lot more interesting. We were off and on, passionate, and stupid. We stayed up late on MSN chat and sent countless emails and notes back and forth. Oh, the days of high school. I of course thought he was the one, but it wasn't meant to be.
He wouldn't live past 23.
One of my best friends was a guy. Someone who I told all my secrets to, brought me breakfast on summer days, and listened to me cry about my boyfriend who was his best friend. We would spend hours and hours on the phone. If he was driving, drunk or both, I was the one he called. I thought we would be friends forever. I was too stupid to know that he wanted more than I did.
Somethings aren't meant to last.
My friends and I hung out by the pool for most of the summer. I was brown as a biscuit, skinny as could be and fit too. God, I miss that body! One summer I bet we saw every single movie that came out at the theater. We all met up after school and ate at random restaurants (of course you had to reload with food before all the practices and games began). Oh the days of metabolism! The boys all did things they weren't suppose to, sometimes I tagged along, but mostly they saw me as a mother hen who they tried to hide it from because they knew I would give them crap about it. We constantly rode along the back roads that were behind my house. We would talk about our drama and listen to DMB.
DMB still brings me back every time and I'm thankful for that.
There are times when I wish I could go back to these days. Especially when the weather is warm out and my life seems a little mundane. I sometimes wonder if I would have done things differently if I knew what I know now. I'd like to say no for the most part. But, I would have stopped wishing for the clock to speed up, stopped counting down the days before I escaped my little town, and most of all I would have just relaxed and enjoyed it more.
The best of my life was yet to come....although the past wasn't that bad either.
All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.