I’m not going to pick a random photo because I don’t feel like it. I don’t have a physical photo album, and really the only virtual one I have is on Facebook.
I remembered a specific picture when I read this prompt, so I’m going to write about that one instead. I feel it deserves to have its story written, even if it is sort of short and anti-climatic.
This is a picture taken by my mom on the day I graduated high school. Jason, my older brother, is on my right, while John, my younger brother, is on my left.
Sadly this is one of the only pictures I have of all three of us together.
I remember being scared that day, because I had to walk across the stage for a class of roughly 300 students. I’m sure you can imagine how many ecstatic family members there were to watch the event.
I remember being bored because my last name starts with C and once my ordeal was over I had to wait for the rest of the alphabet.
I remember being proud because my best friend was the salutatorian and she wrote an amazing speech, part of which she said was inspired by me.
I remember being nervous because my dad was there. I didn’t find him in the stands until after the event, but he was actually there, and it meant so much to me that I had silent tears running down my cheeks as my classmates and I exited.
I remember ridiculous, obscene amounts of happiness. My mom was so proud. So was my older brother. John was happy because everyone else was happy. He still had a year to go before he was free from school.
I remember feeling so loved and cared for. I remember for the first time wanting to take a picture with my family, wanting to have something that would remind me of how close we really are, and how much we care and love each other. Even if I do still feel like John should get hit in the face with a brick every once in a while…
I didn’t really feel all that accomplished, which, I suppose, is in a way sad. I had never questioned if I would graduate or not. I had to. If not my mom would kill me. So graduating in itself didn’t feel all that special. If something is guaranteed to happen, then it does, it’s more like saying, “I told you so.”
I remember feeling as if I had been dropped into a giant, open field that stretched on for forever, the horizon flat and unchanging. Where was I supposed to go from here? Where did I want to go? What was supposed to guide me? There were no landmarks, no points on interest to explore. I had survived and now suddenly there was nothing. No battle to fight, or monster to slay. I didn’t know what to do or where to go.
But at that moment I was surrounded by people who loved me, supported me, and took pride in who I was. And that was enough for me. I had done well. I had brought them honor, and that made me smile.