I’ve been watching a lot of The Wonder Years lately. Love that show. It has a way of making you feel really old and reminiscent – like seeing your life in little flashes of old home movies.
The night I graduated high school, I got into the Camaro I borrowed from my cousin, cranked Third Eye Blind’s “Graduate”, and peeled out of the parking lot. It is now a perfect illustration of most of my high school years; something that was so cool, but actually wasn’t. I was a jerk in high school. Not enough of a jerk that I didn’t have any friends (I had tons), but enough that I think back on some things and say, “Yeah, shouldn’t have done that.” In fact, I shouldn’t have done most of what I did. 31 year old Jeremy says 18 year old Jeremy was an idiot. For those that went to school with me, I can see you nodding.
For all the bad of social media (there are negatives), it does have one pretty big positive: A person can go back and see who and what everyone turned out to be. As determined as I was to peel out of that parking lot and never give another thought to anything or anyone in that town again, I’m glad I didn’t. And I’m damn proud to keep a distant eye on the people I grew up with, and to see the incredible things they are doing.
Stephanie, Heather, and my very own little brother are all teachers. Let’s go ahead and call that the most challenging and important profession in America. This is something you realize when you walk your own kids into the building on their first day of school.
Jeremy is in a band called the Chorderoys. They are seriously good. Remind me a little bit of The Doors. It was probably the first album I’ve bought in 5 years that wasn’t John Mayer. Go check them out.
Courtney owns a Therapy Center that works with children who have autism. I don’t want to be dramatic, but this is life-changing stuff she’s doing.
Ronnie and Brad are both firefighters. As in, literally saving lives.
Buzz is in the Coast Guard. I’m fairly certain this was just his way of having quick access to go fishing, but still, pretty cool.
Whitney’s a nurse. So is Erica. Lacy works for Foster’s Home for Children. On and on it goes.
I know I’m missing so many others. A few people served our country (thank you). A couple didn’t live to see thirty. Almost every one of my old friends are doing the most important thing in the world – raising children of their own.
Oh, there was a girl in high school that I never really dated, but on the weekends we would bum a bottle of Crown Royal from my buddy and go find a place to drink it. Usually, all of it. I hope her mom isn’t reading this. This girl has created three incredible children, built a successful business of her own, and put up with me for eleven years. And me, well, I get paid to make up stories.
All in all, high school was pretty good. I just think that The Wonder Years are probably happening right now.