So here it is on somewhat of the unofficial last day of summer. I knew this post was coming, I just don't think I've been in the right mindset to write it until now.
Three months ago, I finished my senior year of high school which was the best senior year I could've ever imagined. This year, I was a part of the Advanced Theater class at Davis High School. I knew going into it that this was going to be a lot of fun and a great experience but I truly had zero comprehension of how much it was going to drastically alter the course of my life.
Advanced Theater was made of up of 26 students and the disclosure says that this is going to be a class with a heavy emphasis on many different aspects of theater, especially acting. I was excited for this, it would be fun. But it was so much more than that.
Throughout the course of this year, I was for the most part, forced to spend time with these 25 other people. Each of them were so different. Some of them became some of my very best friends, some of them irritated me. However, through the time spent with these people, I think I truly learned what it meant to be alive and to not merely exist.
I learned to trust. I've had plenty of friends in my life but for the most part, they've all "come and gone." I thought I trusted my friends but really, I just let them trust me. I didn't trust anyone else until this experience. I let these people have a glimpse of my soul. I also learned to trust myself. I'm one of the most critical people you'll ever meet and I'm most critical of myself. Here, I was able to show these people parts of me that no one else had ever seen and be content with it.
I learned that in order to get by, you need to rely on other people and other people need to rely on you. I've been headstrong and independent from the moment I was born. I came into this experience with my head held high, hoping to never let anyone ever see me when I was down or struggling. I learned that sometimes, you've just gotta let someone help you.
I learned that it's NOT about me. I've never really personified myself as selfish, but boy was this a wakeup call. This class was about what I had to contribute to others, not about what I was going to receive from the experience.
I learned about the importance of youth. Our spring play was Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. This experience taught me how important the quality of youth is in our lives, and that it is in fact a quality, not a state. Children have wild imaginations, they wear their emotions on their sleeves, they do as they please, they love unconditionally, and they are almost always completely sincere. I've learned to keep in touch with my inner-child.
I learned to never forget. Not only to never forget my childhood but to hold on to every last memory I can. The tragedy of Peter Pan lies in act five when Micheal says: "Perhaps there is no such person Wendy." It is not by fate that there is no return to Neverland, but sadly, because Wendy, John, Michael, and the Lost Boys have chosen to forget. I will never forget the times I spent with these 25 people, good and bad.
I learned to love. I think above all else, this class taught me about love. Everyone has to love and be loved. You'd think an 18 year old would know that. I had heard it before, but I truly never felt it until this year.
So here's to you Thayne Ence, Trent Ferrin, Tressa Furner, Jodie Grossenbach, Matt Hadley, Tyler Hammond, Jenna Hyer, Joan Johnson, Jake Larsen, Eddie Lowery, Mikelle Memmott, Doniell Mojazza, Jud Oram, Rachel Pearce, Lindsay Pettegrew, Emma Phelps, Spencer Relyea, Matt Smith, Joni Stubbs, Maddie Tarbox, Logan Thorley, Cam Thredgold, Ellie Tucker, Niki Waite, Paul Wuthrich, and of course our teacher Andra Thorne who is nothing less than a superhero. I have an undying love and appreciation for each of you that I honestly cannot express through words. I know that we couldn't have stayed in Neverland forever, but I'll think of each of you whenever I can. Sometimes it will hurt, but for the most part, it will bring a smile to my face knowing that each of you have played a part in bringing Jon Low to life. I'd love to keep in touch with each of you but more importantly, promise to never forget me and to never forget about us "all at once; together."
Goodbye "until we wake up."