April 25, 2010
PAUSE. where’s the button for that? I’ve spent most of my life searching for a rewind button and every once in a while a fast forward button. Now the object of my desire is a pause. I’ve been counting down the days until graduation since the beginning of this year and the days have seemed to be ticking by so slowly, but someone must have found that fast forward button I used to look for and pressed it for all of us because the days are flying by before I can blink.
It seems like just yesterday when the cast list for 42nd Street was posted on the wall and there’s no way we started practicing 3 months ago..how did we get to our last show already? It was yesterday I was watching my big brother take his final senior bow and I thinking “will I ever get there?” Jokes on me. I get there in roughly 5 hours. I’ve spent countless hours practicing late into the night and way more saturdays at school than should be allowed over the past 4 years. I’ve danced with the company for 4 years wondering in the back of my mind if I would ever get my own bow one day..dreaming of it, but never expecting it. Jokes on me again. I have not only my own bow, but the last bow. But the one that really counts, especially today, is the one where I join hands with my fellow seniors. Girls and boys that have become a family to me as we practically lived together over the past 4 years, eaten together, sang, dance and acted together, grown up together, and become one together. Today we come together one last time and take our final senior bow. Can I get a pause right there?
As much as I want to take this moment in and hold on to it forever, I have no doubt that it will be over in a matter of seconds and before I know it we will striking the set, tearing apart the stage and preparing it for the next class of seniors..hanging our picture on the wall to become a memory of the White Hall.
Drama’s wrapping up, Jazz Band will be wrapping up much too soon, senior prom is in 6 days, Senior Recital is approaching at breakneck speeds. Where’s the pause? I want to pause these events and breathe them in. Soak up the activities that I have been doing for the past 4 years, never fully appreciating how much they’ve given me. Never appreciating just how much my coaches and teachers and directors have taught me. Lessons much bigger than music, or dance, or history. Never appreciating the fellow students who have sat beside me, danced with me, made music with me. A fellowship that goes deeper than inside jokes and an acquaintance. Pause.
Pause between the final performances. Pause the nights spent with my best friends, nights that I’ve spent week after week looking forward to this year, but never fully realizing that they have to end after the summer. Putting together our sad collection of change to buy taco bell for lunch. Playing in the thunderstorms. Driving nowhere attempting to provide music to all of Conyers with our prized sound systems. Running around in the dark with plastic knives for hours. Staying up all night talking about life and the meaning of it that we still don’t fully understand. Laughing and sobbing and holding each other together through the tragedies that come with life. Pause the moments spent with these friends that are closer to my heart than I knew someone could be. Still not letting myself accept that we split up in the fall, going separate ways and growing into the people we will become separately. Pause.
Pause the youth group. The group that I literally grew up with as my brothers in sisters in Christ. A church family that has gone through the fires with me as we tested our faith through the years. A group that has supported me and encouraged me in my lows and celebrated and been joyful with me through the highs. A group that has grown apart and come back together through the phases of our adolescence but at the end of the day always sticks closer than a brother. Pause the lockins playing poker all night. The ultimate frisbee and football games on the field in the pouring rain. The section in the front of the sanctuary where the pastor can keep a close eye on us. Pause the ski trips, the mission trips, and the unforgettable beach trips. Waiting for Mark to make a mistake in his sermons and never letting him live it down. Going to the kid’s musicals to make fun of them and to the senior adults musicals to watch my grandad lipsync. Being the most awesome VBS leaders to ever grace this earth. Pause.
Yes Tonight! Pause. We say that for the last time tomorrow night. Younglife started for me 2 years ago and I am so glad to have gotten involved. I will never forget the leaders and all that they have done for us and all the ways they have supported and encouraged us. Pause while we sing Living on a Prayer beyond the top of our lungs and when we link together for Lean on Me. Pause while Lindsey tells a terrible joke after announcements and explains why it’s funny. When Lisa gets far too competitive in a boys versus girls game. While Ames acts out a ridiculous skit. Pause while Zach May serenades us with heartfelt worship and while we are reminded of the Message. While Kent makes us leave after club. Pause.
Pause the simple, little things. Sitting on my roof at night staring at the stars. Seeing my grandad drive his old pickup by the house every day, heading to faithfully feed his herd of cows rain or shine. Hearing shotguns through the woods as my grandmom guards her birdfeeder from those pesky squirrels. Going to sleep peacefully to the sound of rain on the plastic skylights and tossing and turning to the sound of coyotes howling in the woods. Speeding down the dirt road to make it home by 12. Stuffing the bottom of my door with a blanket so my parents won’t see my light on at 4am. Sitting in my sister’s room at her bay window staring at the moon until I fall asleep against the glass. Pause.