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Okay, so it’s not really a letter as such, more some musings and thoughts that went through my brain at the end of High School that I wrote down.
I stumbled across it the other day when I was sorting through some of my old things, and came across my notebook from Year 12 where my friends and classmates wrote messages of goodbyes and well wishes and such.
I smiled at the funny anecdotes and things I had long forgotten about, and remembering people I haven’t seen or spoken to since.
Then I couldn’t believe when I realised it’s been almost 18 years since I graduated High School.
It’s funny when you sometimes wonder where you’ll be in five, ten, twenty years time thinking it’s so far away. But it doesn’t seem that long ago that I was contemplating just that at the end of High School, and here I am, not far off twenty years later.
It’s a little scary.
So reading through these thoughts from my 17 year old self, half my lifetime ago, and I can’t help seeing the wisdom there, but also the naivety.
When you’re young, the world is full of possibilities, but as you grow older, you start to realise that things aren’t always as easy.
Doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, just harder.
But it’s nice to dream.
Well, what can I say? When I was in Primary School I never thought I’d get to High School, let alone graduate. It’s a weird concept to learn to accept, but I’m getting there.
Primary School dragged on for what seems like forever. When I got to High School things changed and the five years just flew by. I can still remember my first day of Year 8 back in 1996. I was so nervous and I was worried I wouldn’t fit in or would be rejected by my classmates and feel like an outsider. I guess in some ways that was true, but in more ways I learned to accept who I am and find things out about myself that I never even thought of before. As I went through my years at High School, I grew as a person, both physically and mentally. I had to learn to grow up, be myself and learn to stand up for myself which I never found really easy. And I still don’t.
I learned so much more from High School than just what they teach in the classroom. I learned how to get along with people, how to tolerate others, not letting things bother you too much. I found out how much people change from the transition from Primary School to High School and how it affects everybody else around you. I know I’ve changed a lot. I used to be so quiet, shy and withdrawn. There is still a part of that inside me, but now I have gained more confidence. I’m more outspoken, I get out more and I have a lot of friends.
I think that one of the most important lessons to be learnt is that when you learn to accept yourself for who you are and feel good about yourself, it shows through your personality, and other people respond to that. The way that you perceive the world is the way that it reflects back on you. It took me awhile to realise this, but when I did it opened me up to new experiences that I never even thought were possible. I began to believe in myself and found that others believed in me too.
Knowledge, I found was a really important asset to have in our lives. For what we don’t know we can’t seek, and what we can’t seek we’ll never experience, and the lack of experience leads to the many regrets that we face throughout life. I found that there’ll always be something that we’ll regret doing, being something very simple or extremely complex. It’s just something else that we have to learn to live with.
Throughout my years at High School, especially Year 12, I found that making decisions concerning our future was probably the most difficult part. You constantly have to weigh up the consequences of what our decisions will have on our lives. The depth of the impact they will create. It’s too difficult to predict the consequences of our actions and the choices we make, so we’re making blind choices. The possibilities of what could happen is unknown to us, so it is like we are walking blindfolded somewhere that we have never been before, stumbling through the darkness, trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel, where all our goals and dreams lie.
I guess we never really think much about the decisions we make and how important they really are. So I guess that makes one more thing that makes our lives so difficult. At certain stages in our lives, how are we supposed to know what we want or hope to achieve. There is probably only a few people who do. Everyone else is totally clueless. That would be me. I don’t think I’ve ever really known where I was going. I think I’ve always tried just to go with it and hope that whatever was pushing or pulling me in different directions knew where it was going, and where it was taking me.
I’ve often wondered where I expect to see myself in five, ten or even twenty years from now and I still have absolutely no idea. My hopes, dreams and wishes for the future have changed immensely as I have grown. As a child it was based more on passion. The innocence of a child believing that nothing is impossible, and we can do whatever we want. There is no limit to the imagination.
As we grow, we start to lose some of that. We begin to see things for what they are. More reality comes into everything we do. As we become more dependent, we see the world differently through new challenges and experiences which shape the person we become. This never stops and is why our views on life and everything else is constantly changing. The things that we once strongly believed in, we find no longer exists, and things that we never dreamed was possible, is real.
The more we discover, the more we reflect on every other aspect of our lives. We see and feel everything. What we don’t seem to realise is that if even one small part of our lives is altered in a seemingly insignificant way, that many other parts are affected without even noticing it. We need to realise that everything changes and nothing ever stays the same. Everything would be too simple then.
Even the people we meet change us forever. Everyone has some influence over us, whether it be family, friends, enemies or even someone you smile at in a passing by. How others feel shows through them and reflects on others. It creates like a domino effect. How do we know that a bad mood can’t be spread like a plague, multiplying rapidly. Then a smile can go a long way and brighten someone else’s day. And if and when they pass it on, someone else will see the light. And when the people are happier, the world is a better place because of it. Wouldn’t that be a better place to live?
Fast forward Almost 18 Years
I always think of High School as a time in my life that wasn’t all that great. But after reading this I’m remembering some of the good times too.
Was High School hard to get through? Definitely. But so is just about everything.
Sure there are heaps of rough times, but if you’re lucky, you’ll still end up with some good memories.
How do you feel when you think back on your years at High School?