Today I bought a dress for my high school graduation. Which at this very point in time, is thirteen days away from now. To me, that is just as scary and intimidating as it is exciting. Something that has become so routine for me is about to end.

Not too long ago I read somewhere on my Pinterest feed to “Remember that you once dreamed of being where you are now.” Words can’t describe how close to home that statement hit me. My entire life before high school was me dreaming and waiting to experience what this time of my life would be all about.

August 17th, 2007. It was a Friday night and I was six years old. I was counting down the clock to 8/7 central (whatever central is, I still don’t know) on channel 41 for the premiere of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical 2. I LOVED the HSM franchise so much that I was Sharpay Evans for Halloween two years in a row. Stoked for this monumental event was an understatement.

Troy and Gabriella was the definition of young love. And I distinctively remember thinking in the scene where they lift up the lanterns on the golf course at night “Gosh, I can’t wait to be in high school one day.”

That movie made the world of high school seem so magical. I mean, the way high school is romanticized in most movies is almost comical to me now. But at that time, the ‘High School Musical depiction’ was all I knew. I couldn’t wait to be like those wild characters someday.

Or let’s bring it back to summer ‘09. “I gotta feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas had just come out, Barack was freshly president, and I had the coolest babysitter on the planet named Jordan. Life was indubitably good.

One day, Jordan called my mom saying she couldn’t watch me the next weekend because she was driving up to Portland with her friends to see Hannah Montana in concert. Remember when I said she was the coolest babysitter in the world? Well in my fourth grade mind, she just got even cooler.

Jordan watched me most of that summer. We would tie-dye old shirts of ours, give all 50 of my webkinz a bath every day, and then if we were feeling crazy, we would go to the mall and window shop at Hot Topic and Claire’s. When I was with Jordan, I felt on top of the world.

But then school started back up again, and Jordan’s schedule became a lot more booked up then just a Hannah Montana concert. It was time for Jordan to be a teenager and it was time for me to be ‘another stupid little kid.’ I wanted to fast forward time so badly so I could be one of the infamous “High schoolers.” They seemed so cool. I mean, Jordan was cool, so they all have to be right?

It’s moments like those that remind me of the pure excitement and optimism I had for what would be my time in high school. And adding that to the “it’s almost over” dilemma I am having now isn’t helping the process of leaving high school much easier either.

One of the great things about summer or winter is that I will be able to experience that season over again in due time. But with high school, that is a season of my life that I will never be able to have again.

Everything I experience, the people in my life, and the mindset I currently have, even when these aspects might seem boring, are the things I will probably miss a lot some day.

You know, sometimes I wish I could go back in time to when I would groan waking up to my early alarm to finish my math homework and tell myself to complain less. Because even though how frustrating that was, one day I know I’ll miss it.

You see in the midst of the many inconveniences that my mind probably weighed too much time on during high school, are the many little moments that become a lot bigger as time goes by.

It’s not the math homework I will remember from high school. It will be running onto the football field after winning a home game, getting ready for another dance, being a leader, or maybe it will be the scones I share with my friends after third period.

I wish I had realized this a little bit before my last official week of high school. So that I could maybe make even more memories worthwhile now to one day tell my kids about.

But maybe that’s just the cycle of growing up – realizing the value of what you have moments before it’s gone. I don’t necessarily love this feeling, but I know it’s necessary. It’s time for someone else to have these moments. It’s time for me to take the next step.

High school wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. It was worth the snapshots that I feel like have been replaying in my head the past few days. The ones I will remember. The ones I already wish I had back.

To future Mia reading this, I hope you made the most of your last few days. And to the kids who have more time left, please continue to make to most of it. You will never regret being present. Because what you have right now might not be there forever.

La Vie en Rose