I spent last week on a cruise to Bermuda. It was glorious. When I returned to America, land of cellular service and social media, Facebook informed me that marriage equality was made the law in Ireland, that Josh Duggar molested serveral underage girls and 19 Kids and Counting was promptly cancelled by TLC, and that my high school was closing due to low enrollment over the last several years. I’ve talked about attending Catholic school several times, and had a good high school experience. Not that I would EVER re-live those fours years, but I wouldn’t skip over them in another life either, ya know?
Anyway, the title of this post comes from a little song called Jack and Diane. This throwback graced this afternoon’s work playlist, and hearing “hold on to sixteen as long as you can” low-key made me want to cry. It also triggered a super vivid memory of watching Glee when I was actually 16 and in high school. I feel like there’s an episode where this particular line of this particular song are noted. Kurt was trying to relate to his dad who was super into Mellancamp songs but I can’t remember the rest of the plot for my life. You know what I’m talking about right? You also know I’m all about crying alone, so I sought out my yearbooks when I got home from work. The notes in the back of the book that documented my junior year, the year that began when I was sixteen, all had one common thread: everyone suddenly thought I was funny. I guess junior year was when I finally stopped giving so many fucks about what everyone thought of me, and let my sarcasm flow freely through the classrooms. I also had an amazing English teacher that year, and kept my mouth closed on only the rarest occasions because I had so many thoughts on The Joy Luck Club (which everyone should go read right now) & Frankenstein. At sixteen I started to find myself, speaking up in classes instead of putting all of my opinions into homework assignments and papers. Holding on to sixteen is holding onto the year I started to see who I would be when I grew up. Knowing that this building where I spent four years, where I was inspired by teachers who taught me more than they will ever know, and where I made some of the best friends I have in this life will soon close its doors forever is awful. But hoping that all those sixteen year old juniors get to have this feeling wherever they are, is almost enough to make that awful feeling go away.
Also, google the lyrics to Jack and Diane, because I had no idea how #scandalous it was until half an hour ago.