Asked one of my best friends, Shyanne, as we were driving back from a friend's baby blessing in Layton that we had attended that afternoon. At the time, I thought about it, and answered with a maybe, and then a few minutes later with more thinking, said probably not.
Those two words that were once so important to me and such a big part of my life, are now just a memory. Good or bad, it depends.
Since the baby blessing, I couldn't stop thinking about that question. Would I go back to high school? Would I do it all over again? What would I have done differently?
What would I have done differently?
Who knew that question would be so thought-provoking? It's been on my mind ever since she asked it.
Thinking back to my short three years in high school, my mistakes seems to pop out more vividly in my head than my good memories. At first I thought of some obvious mistakes. I wish I had more active in the student body. I wish I had tried out for the softball team. I wish I had decided to finish drill team tryouts. I made the first two cuts - why didn't I finish?? Oh, because I had to choose between drill or having a job. Oh, and I didn't think that I had what it took to make it onto the team. I had serious self-confidence issues.
I had a job all throughout my high school years. Yes, it hampered my social life. Yes, it may have taken a toll on my grades. Yes, it took away lots of other options. But I learned how to be a hard worker, responsibility, and earned lots of money. I was able to buy my own car, which was a definite plus.
But having a job wasn't an excuse for never trying out for talent shows, being on student council, the yearbook staff, chorus, or joining any clubs. I didn't do anything. Oh, I was part of the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) thanks to Shyanne. I didn't take the initiative to take part of anything. Why? I didn't think I could do it. I didn't feel like it was "me". I felt like it wasn't my crowd.
I can think of another mistake. I wish I had taken the time to make more friends. During my sophomore year of high school, I ran with the wrong crowd. I didn't even really enjoy most of that crowd. I enjoyed being part of a group and feeling accepted, but that's about it. I hate that I only hung out those people and didn't really ever expand my group of friends. I felt like I was limited to that group. I knew they liked me. That was enough for me. I settled.
So limited, in fact, that I had a boyfriend that wasn't part of that group and didn't tell my closest friends about him for months. I was afraid they wouldn't accept him, or me with him. When I finally decided to tell them, they were happy for me! He even came and hung out with us and we all enjoyed it. Who knew. I wish I wasn't afraid to tell my friends things. What kind of person is afraid of what their friends think?
During the middle of my sophomore year, a nasty, very un-true rumor started circulating about me and soon I felt like the whole school was against me. It was horrible. Even some of my closest friends turned against me for awhile. During this time of my life, I never felt so alone.
Luckily, after about a month or so, the rumor lost it's fire and people were beginning to warm up to me again. That period of time took a major blow to my self-esteem, but I came out of it knowing who my true friends were, and even found some new friends.
I met some wonderful people and finally had a group of friends that liked me for me. But another mistake that I made is that I kept to that group of friends only.
This kills me. How hard would it have been to smile during passing at my fellow peers, familiar faces or not? How hard would it have been to make new friends in my classes?
My junior year was wonderful. I had a wonderful boyfriend, I had wonderful friends, I regained the trust of my family, and was strong in the church. I was making a few new friends and was involved in city league softball. I have great memories from that year. We climbed light towers, water towers, jumped hills, went four wheeling, had parties, made movies, and went to Taco Bell a hundred thousand times. I went to two proms that year.
But, once again, how hard would it have been for me to make more friends? Why was it so hard for me to get to know the people that I went high school with? My fellow classmates probably thought I was a jerk. I would think I was a jerk. Did I think I was better than everyone? Why did I assume people would just accept me without me trying to get to know them? WHY?!?!?
My senior year was fun, as it should have been. We probably went to Taco Bell every day for lunch, and yet I still don't think I will ever get sick of soft tacos and baja blast. On special occasions we went to Two Jack's pizza and ordered cheese sticks. We attended many football games and flaunted our Don pride. To leave our mark, my friends and I wrote our names in permanent marker on the school walls in the basement. I also left a mark on my beloved car that year when I hydroplaned into the side of a fence. Ha ha.
But I had heavy mark on my heart that year. I had broken up with my long term boyfriend and was pretty depressed about it. I let it rule my emotions that year. I dated plenty of other guys, but none of them could fill the void in my heart. I let myself get too depressed too easily when I could have been out and enjoying myself more. I was too worried what he thought about me and made sure that everything I did would be acceptable to him. I hate that I let that happen.
And, a mistake that definitely has a trend throughout my high school career, is that I was self-asorbed and didn't branch out to make new friends. It was too much to ask of myself to smile at a familiar face in passing in the hallway.
The bottom line. My mistakes.
I obsessed, I assumed, and I was so cautious about what others thought that I didn't allow time for ME to be ME.
It's a tragedy that I didn't recognize these mistakes until much later in my life.
Yes, I would go back. I have become such a different person now than I was in high school. I would go back and not be afraid of who I was, what I looked like, not care what anyone else thought of me, smile more, laugh more, make more memories, and not be afraid to make more friends. I would have not been afraid to finish drill tryouts. I would have not been afraid to try something new. I would have not been afraid.
To all those who I attended school with. I'm sorry that we didn't become better friends. I'm sorry if you were waiting for me to smile first. I'm sorry if you waiting for me to begin a conversation with you. I'm sorry if you gave up on me. I'm sorry for everything I was afraid to do. I would change it all if I could. Thanks for giving me a chance and be a part of your high school memories. Thanks to all of those who opened my eyes.
I am grateful for who I have become. I owe a lot of that to my sweet, sweet husband, my amazing family and their incredible support and love, my wonderful friends who have always been there for me, the amazing power of the atonement, and all of the bitter and sweet experiences that have shaped me into who I am today.
Would you go back?