I finished high school in May, but I’m still getting used to the idea that I’m DONE. I think part of the issue is my lack of a graduation ceremony – not that I’m complaining, though. One of the homeschool support groups in my area held a large ceremony for grads and I could have gone, but I chose not to because… well, because I didn’t know any of the people who would be there!
So instead, my family went out for dinner on the night I graduated, and that was fun, and… that’s it. Until now. My open house is today, and now it finally feels like I’ve actually graduated, because this is the last specific-to-high-school activity I have before I head off to college!
(Side note: I think in other countries, open houses are called “grad parties”? I was telling some of my friends about my upcoming open house the other day and they had no clue what I was talking about. Basically you invite family and friends and usually a few of your favorite teachers, and there’s food, and, like… IDK, a display of any academic awards you’ve won, and photos of you throughout your years in school? And this is usually at your house, but it doesn’t have to be. People can drop in at any time in the afternoon, hence the term open house. Also, they’re hosted by individual families, not the school.)
So, anyway. We’ve been very busy this past week and ESPECIALLY yesterday, setting things up. (Oh my god, assembling the 20′ x 20′ tent was quite the adventure. That took a while.) And today is the day of my open house, FINALLY!
It’s quite nice to be able to relax and hang out and smell the ridiculously yummy scents emanating from the pulled pork sandwiches and talk to my cousins whom I haven’t seen in forever.
It’s quite nice to spend time with my friends – I haven’t seen them, either, in a long time, due to the distance between our towns or to their health issues. I am ridiculously excited for my sleepover tonight because A) I haven’t had one since my sixteenth birthday party and B) it’ll be AWESOME to have more than one friend to hang out with.
And yet I can’t help feeling that there are people missing from this open house.
I didn’t invite a ton of people – we’re expecting anywhere from thirty-six to fifty people, depending on which families show up – and that’s OK. I’m an introvert, I don’t need to be SURROUNDED by TONS of people!
But I still feel like people are missing. Most of the guests are my relatives, and then there are a bunch of adults who influenced my school years in one way or another, and then there are a couple of friends.
Very few of my friends will be at my open house, actually. I’m NOT trying to downplay the importance of the friends who will be there, because I love them and they are awesome, but at the same time… they make up a very small percentage of my total group of friends.
I wish I could invite you guys – my readers! Seriously, online friendships are SO WEIRD in that you can grow really really close to someone without ever meeting up face-to-face. I talk to some of you EVERY SINGLE DAY, and we’re so close that sometimes I find it hard to believe that we live hundreds or even thousands of miles apart.
It feels weird to be celebrating without you. It feels weird to not be able to walk over to your house and just hang out and talk. We’d have the same conversations that we have via Facebook and texts and whatnot, it’s true, but it would be SO COOL to actually have a face-to-face conversation for once.
It feels weird that I’m not there with you people to celebrate birthdays and Christmas and New Year’s Eve and graduations. It feels weird that we can’t go trick-or-treating together or sleep over at each other’s houses. Seriously, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve told someone, “Oh, I’ll loan you my copy of [insert book here]! I’ll go over to your house and bring it with me.” And then I realize they live in Australia or Ireland or Canada or somewhere else very very far away from me, and hanging out IRL just isn’t possible at this time in our lives because DISTANCES ARE ANNOYING.
I wish you could be here. I wish we could hang out and eat my blue-and-purple graduation cake and talk about anything and everything. But I have to accept that that’s impossible right now.
Someday, though? Someday it’ll totally be possible. There may not be graduation cake involved, though. (The lady at the store assured us that buttercream frosting freezes well but hey, cake doesn’t last forever.) Still. It’ll be awesome, cake or no cake. Someday we can meet up and have ridiculous conversations and maybe even celebrate something.
P.S. I thought it would be fitting to show you my senior portraits today! The first picture was taken by the woman who is in charge of my county’s 4-H photography project. She’s also the leader of my local 4-H club… and she takes senior portraits each year for her graduating members! (For free! YAY. Professional photographers are ridiculously expensive.)
The second photo was taken by my dad, who sparked my interest in photography in the first place. We did a photo shoot at the Indiana Dunes (and locations nearby – we also took a bunch of pictures at the Chellburg Farm area) and it was fun! But VERY WINDY. Hence why my hair looks a bit windblown and weird. (I have very excitable hair that goes “WHEEEEE!” whenever there’s even a slight breeze.)
So, anyway. I thought you might like to see some more recent photos of me since I haven’t posted any in quite a while! (The picture on my about page is from 2012, for example.) Also, I’ve been thinking – maybe I should do senior portraits next spring/summer after I’ve wrapped up my first year of college! I know a bunch of incoming seniors, and this would be a good way to further practice my photography skills… and maybe, um, to make some money. Because I am a wee college student and my Real Job only pays minimum wage, but tuition is ridiculously expensive.