My dearest little sisters,
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you that I have been thinking about how to write my senior memories for years. Now the day has come, and it is just another senior activity I mindlessly go through, pushing off the emotion until a later date. You will feel this, too, one day, as offended as you may be by my off-handedness. The issue is not that I don’t care; the issue is that I care too much. I am speechless. I am at a loss for words. How does one- even one who has journaled since middle school- sum up her thoughts on the school that became her home, the people who molded her life, and the years that defined her soul? How exactly am I supposed to find the right words to adequately thank all who have participated in this journey?
My journals from my first year at Trinity are full of names. I was enamored with the new people I met. They were fascinating and witty and energetic and wildly intelligent. I am happy to say that five years later, they’re still going strong. My classmates became my makeshift family; my teachers my makeshift parents. I found that the more time I spent with them, the more I wanted to be with them. I extended sister-ship to many beautiful souls, all of whom, no matter the distance we’ve grown apart, carry a piece of my heart. I found the brothers I never had but always wanted in many whom I love desperately. I was enveloped by the care and wisdom of teachers who made me want to be like them in character and in faith. I found a home away from home, and as of right now, I’m not ready to leave it. Don’t get me wrong- I am more than ready to leave behind the homework, the uniform, and the small school syndrome, but I’m not ready to leave behind this little piece of time and space where my classmates and I have gone through life side by side. I’ll never be able to get it back no matter how hard I try. However, memories are a powerful thing; that is the reason why I have journaled all these years.
As for the Amandas and the Graces of the world, the Veaches and the Blakes, the Tommys and the Zachs, the Helton’s advisories and the locker buddies: these are the people my heart longs to keep close but anticipates their launching out into the world. I hope that you will find yourself an Amanda in every new place you go- someone whose soul instantly bonds with yours and cannot be severed no matter what the trials. I pray that you stumble upon a Grace- someone your age with wisdom beyond your years and friendship skills that rival even the greatest of literary characters. Always keep your Veach close- someone who shares your history and whose friendship will always be effortless. If you happenchance upon a Blake, someone who teaches you the value of relationships and the importance of honesty, take care that you don’t take him for granted. Stay connected to a Tommy- someone whom you can tell stories about performing with and who you will always support and be supported by. Gather up Zachs in your life- someone who is a constant friend with a constant laugh and a constant steady hand to hold onto. As for your advisory and your locker buddies, the someones who you spend your day-to-day life with, get to know them deeply for they will be the first ones to see the worries of the world etched across your face in the morning and the ones whom your senior memories will be surrounded by in glory. I carry them all in my heart.
Seek out adults whom you long to be like and take notes: these will be your Leslies and Normas, your Azzis and Legbands, your Morrills and Williamsons, your math and science teachers who never had a reason to love you and the English teachers who did. Take the parts of each of them that stand out and make your own hybrid of truth-driven and faith-full characteristics. You can never learn too much from the people that you respect the most.
As for your memories, learn what they mean to you. Do they make you happy? Keep them close. Do they sadden you? Hold them at arms length. No matter how you choose to keep them, remember this: you cannot move onto your next chapter if you keep re-reading your favorite pages. Sometimes, it is better for us to live without thinking about preserving memories. Quite often, it is healthy to stop trying to catch up on journaling and simply live. Stay long at lunch. Learn about your classmates’ lives. Pretend as though you are friends with everyone, for someday you might be. For the Secret Garden moments in your life, pay attention: they are to prove to you that your gifts are real. For the Les Miserables moments in your life, praise the Lord: they are to give you a glimpse into eternity with Him and to empower you with hope. For the Into the Woods moments in your life, love as much as you have capacity to: they are the last moments before everything you know changes.
As for us, we will always be constant in our changing. For this, I am overwhelmingly grateful.
Love, pray, read, sing, dance, cry, breathe. And don’t forget to remember me.