This past week I was off from work. I took the opportunity to head to Austin, Texas to visit one of my best friends from high school who recently moved there with her family. Another best friend of mine, who now lives in Chicago, flew down to Austin as well so all 3 of us could spend a couple days together. I was excited to visit a city I had never been to, enjoy some warmer weather & catch up with 2 of my oldest friends.
The second day I was in Austin we were invited by my girlfriend and her 20 month old daughter to music class. We gladly accepted the invite. Upon entering the room, we took off our shoes and sat “Criss Cross Applesauce” on a very colorful rug. We were also instructed to wear name tags. We were then lead by a very adorable and energetic women named Jill who played the guitar and lead us in children’s songs. We got to play instruments and dance around with ribbons as well, it was fabulous. My friend and I fully embraced our one hour of music class, thankful to be invited and get a glimpse into our friend’s life as a young mother. Because of my passion to participate, I still have the damn songs stuck in my head.
Later that day we headed to a place called Barton Springs Pool. It’s very well known in Austin. Barton Springs Pool is a man-made recreational swimming pool. The pool is filled by water from Main Barton Spring, the fourth largest spring in Texas. With swimsuits on, snacks packed and Prosecco poured we set out for the day. Upon arrival, we discovered that this famous attraction was closed all day for cleaning. Buzz kill. Fortunately it’s surrounded by a giant green, similar to Central Park if you are from New York, so we moved our picnic to grass instead of water.
We spend the day chatting, people watching, snacking, drinking and reflecting on our music class. It was surreal to think we went from the high school hallways to music class together. We also talked about high school. When you’re with friends from a certain part of your life, you tend to talk about that part. When you’re with co-workers, you usually talk about work. College friends, college. High school friends, high school. What I enjoyed most about this conversation was that instead of talking about other people from high school, we talked about ourselves. Analyzed out loud who we were in high school. It was quite liberating to contrast who we were now and who we were then. Let our guards down a little.
It’s common to hear people say, “I hated high school.” But I don’t think any of us ever necessarily hated high school. I think we hated not being who they are now in high school. I think we wish we knew things back then that we know now. And even though I wouldn’t change much about high school and I feel so fortunate to still be best friends with the friends I made there, I do definitely think my 31 year old self could have saved my high school self lots of time, energy and tears. Especially when it came to my weight.
That got me thinking, what exactly are those things…Here’s a list I came up with…
- I wish I knew what emotional eating was. It could have saved me years of yo yo dieting.
- I wish I recognized that everyone is equally as scared and confused, not just me.
- I wish I knew that my “fat jeans” from high school would become “my skinny jeans” when I got older.
- I wish I knew that no one knows how much I weigh. Or cares.
- I wish I knew that I’d always want to lose 10 more pounds.
- I wish I knew to buy clothes that fit, not clothes that I wanted to fit.
- I wish I knew that I actually liked the taste of fruits and vegetables.
- I wish I knew that good food did more than just help me lose weight, it made me feel better.
- I wish I knew how important it was to put myself in situations where I felt uncomfortable.
- I wish I knew that it is endearing to be awkward.
- I wish I knew I was an introvert.
- I wish I knew how attractive men who were intelligent were.
- I wish I knew not to compare myself to others when it came to shape.
- I wish I knew how to follow my gut.
- I wish I knew that rejection was self-inflicted.
- I wish I knew that the mirror wasn’t a tool to highlight my flaws.
- I wish I didn’t rely so much on self-deprecating humor.
- I wish I didn’t believe that “perfect” was a destination.
- I wish I knew that flaws were in my eyes and not others.
- I wish I knew that my siblings were my best friends.
- I wish I knew what a hair straightener was.
I think this list can go on forever and ever and grow with time. But most importantly, I wish I knew that I’d grow up and actually like being me. We spent so much time in high school wishing we were someone else. Wishing we looked like someone else. Wishing we acted like someone else. Wishing we got the attention like someone else. But it turns out, all our insecurities from high school turn out to be our biggest strengths as adults.
Tag your besties from high school <3
Shout out to my high school besties, I love ya to death!