There’s “Throwback Thursday” and “Flashback Friday” but I thought I’d add “Sentimental Sunday” to the mix. I feel like Sundays were constructed to let us decompress before the grand piano of Monday falls, and perhaps to let us jump out of the way before it lands. In consideration of that, I thought I’d take a moment to give you a glimpse into the whirlwind that has been spinning around me. This week I’ve felt like I’ve been running, and somehow still gaining speed, as the days have passed. Not running in a bad, exhausting way, but rather running toward a goal, a finish line ribbon, and a winner’s circle. Such a race has brought its emotion, both the joy and the happiness and the sadness and the depression and the excitement and everything between. Let me elaborate.
Monday. For the last three years I’ve spent nearly every Monday night at a pretty sketchy basement with some of my closest friends, but this week was the last one. YoungLife has been a huge part of my life and has helped to shape me into who I am and who I want to be, but more importantly, who God wants me to be. In consideration of that, it was a pretty sad feeling to know this was the last YoungLife Monday night until I’m in college. I felt like I was handing off something I’ve loved so much to the next person, as if I was leaving part of myself in that basement. Monday brought a lot of excitement for what’s ahead, but also some nostalgia for what I know I’ll leave behind.
Secondly, this week I went to the final performance of my school’s production of Les Miserables. When they started rehearsing and doing auditions for the production, I got a little nervous because, in my opinion, they were taking on a much bigger show than they could hold. I wanted to go to the last performance because I know what it feels like to be involved in a last production. Between you and me, I didn’t expect the show to be a sensation. I was really just going to be supportive, not to spend a Saturday night watching a 3-hr musical. I was so happy to be so wrong and surprised.
As it turns out, the friends I’ve known all through high school can sing. And I don’t mean “they can sing” like “they can put a slightly off-key video of them singing a Taylor Swift song in their bedroom on Youtube and get 12 likes”. I mean they can sing beautifully and theatrically, probably better than Adele! (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves). Every time someone I knew had a shining moment as a character, I actually had to slide back in my seat so I wouldn’t fall off. These people I’ve known for years were not only showcasing a hidden talent I’d never seen, but they were doing it well and I couldn’t have been more proud. Even describing it to you seems insufficient but all I can do is say that as soon as the cheering and applause had finally stopped, I nearly ran to the stage to hug some of my closest friends, the same friends that had felt like complete strangers just a few minutes ago. It was a moment in which I felt like the end of senior year was finally becoming real. In one month these friends (more like family) will be walking across the stage right ahead of me and on Saturday night I got a glimpse into what that will feel like. It was so exciting, but also overwhelming.
After all the hugging and crying and laughing post-musical, we camped out at Cookout until about 1am, letting the exhaustion and adrenaline take over as the hugging and laughing began again. Gosh I’m gonna miss these people. That’s all I know to say.
Getting closer to the end of my senior year has taught me time and time again that growing up isn’t always a pocketful of sunshine. It’s difficult and unexpected and when it happens, it seems like there’s no going back. But I’ve also seen that growing up allows people to step into the limelight, filling the space their potential created. This week has been an emotional roller coaster, but I’ve learned that I’ve somehow managed to pick some incredible friends who have never failed to surprise me, and as Sentimental Sunday comes to a close, I see now how lucky I am to have found something that makes saying goodbye so hard.