I was very excited to graduate from high school. Incredibly excited. Ecstatic. So excited that I didn’t even cry at graduation.
Okay. That sounds bad. But high school wasn’t the jam to my peanut butter (I like honey way more).
That’s not to say that high school was equivalent to sitting at the dentist or waiting in line at the DMV, though. For one thing, I learned that I love to run, and read, and write, and think, and make music, and ask ridiculous questions (more on these things later). I also figured out some of my strengths (and a lot of my weaknesses). High school was not a lot of sitting and waiting. High school was a lot of figuring out who I was and how I do me best (and worst).
Was it a tasty sandwich? No. Was it a tiny bit scarier than encountering a rattlesnake and more unpredictable than radioactive decay? Maybe. Did I ever break down and give up? You bet.
High school wasn’t exactly fun for me, but in truth, that was probably a good thing. I now know how to eat un-tasty sandwiches and how to encounter snakes without freaking out, for instance. I now also know what it feels like to break down and give up (and then un-give up and keep going).
And I now know that the keep going element is key to pursuing everything that I love. Insurmountable writer’s block? Keep writing. Mile repeats? Keep running (I promise, they get easier with practice)! Can’t figure out the funky shift in that etude? Practice it! High school gave me a lot of practice with the break-down-and-then-give-up-at-a-task-and-then-figure-it-out-and-keep-going.
Yeah, I’m not a big fan of jam with my peanut butter. But man, if I had never even learned how to make and eat the high school sandwich, what about the next one? Honey, high school was not the jam to my peanut butter, and that’s okay. Because now I know how to make a peanut butter and honey sandwich.* And that’s pretty rad. Because tasty sandwiches are awesome, and my gap year’s shaping up to be pretty awesome too!
*the sandwich being a metaphor for the break-down…-and-then-figure-it-out-and-keep-going life thing.