The relief that rushed through my body when I walked off that stage was exhilarating.
I have been yearning for this day for quite some time and it was surreal finally experiencing it.
The weights lifted making me feel light and free as ever.
As I celebrate, I dream up the endless possibilities of my future.
I feel unwavering peace that some of the best days of my life are yet to come.
I have hope that this isn’t the end, it’s only the beginning of so much more for me.
I celebrate how far I have come in eighteen years, how much I’ve learned & changed, and how much more I get to endure.
I reminisce in sentiment of some the most adventurous, heartfelt, and carefree days of my life.
This day brought endless laughter, extreme joy, many tears, much peace, and loads of hope.
I sit here in gratitude.
Thank you for the unconditional support every step of the way.
Alongside the celebration, excitement, and dreams is grief for the end of an era.
The past couple months, as this day has gotten closer, I found myself in denial.
I was numbing and hiding from the reality that was about to hit me.
All of a sudden, I didn’t feel ready for the day that I had so long been waiting for.
I was able to put language to my intense feeling of loss, change, and sadness – grief.
Grieving the loss of my childhood and teenage days that I’ll never get back.
Grieving the millions of changes happening all at once.
Grieving the fact that my best friend is now moving and our paths diverge here.
Grieving the “high school experience” I got stolen from me when I was deep in abuse, depression, and trauma for two long years.
Grieving what could have been.
Grieving the past version of myself that I let go.
The future is scary, unknown, insecure, uncertain, and anxiety provoking.
The vast possibilities leaves me both exhilarated and terrified.
Thank you high school for all that you were and all that you weren’t.
I am grateful for both.
It was both the best time of my life and simultaneously the hardest, longest time of my life.
That’s the thing – life can be a BOTH/AND moment. These feelings of celebration and grief can coexist. All the things. All the feels. All at once.
Here’s to both the ending and the beginning.
Listen to my podcast episode – Grieving People, Changes, and Eras – about what it looked like for me to grieve all things associated with high school ending.