Ever look back on your life and wonder, How many people have I been?
No? Maybe it’s just me, because I’m watching so much Doctor Who lately…
At this point in my life, I’m feeling that I’m in my ninth incarnation – or something roundabout the ninth. What I mean – and I think I’ve written about this before – is that there’s something in me that’s crystallized, and then there’s something in me that’s constantly changing, evolving, devolving, relearning, and then adapting again – over and over again. Research backs this up, but it’s amazing how much of my own life I’ve forgotten.
It’s astounding how much we forget, as humans. (Surely, I’m not alone in my horrible memory.) And yet I know I’m not the same person I was only five years ago, let alone seven years ago.
Recently I came across this photo on my Facebook homepage, and it took me by surprise:
This wall stands in my high school, and every member of the newspaper staff of which I had been a part during my time as a student there signed this mural before graduating. It was the EDGE, and they were my family during a rough patch in my life. Amazing that I forgot about this mural until it popped up on my newsfeed. The EDGE was a team; the EDGE was a place of acceptance – most importantly, a place of sincerity and encouragement. And I will cherish it forever.
I left my house rather early (6:58 a.m.) this morning in order to make it to school on time, to go to Lipscomb University with the EDGE Staff. I made it to school at 7:15! No one was on the bus, and they were supposed to be. . . I made my way to Room 38, our headquarters! There I saw the best people I know on this earth, the closest friends I could have, and the best role model out of all of my years in high school. We went to the bus as planned. Things were pretty bland on the way up to Nashville, but I listened to Ingrid Michaelsen with Winton, took a personality color test, and heated up the windows with my hand. (Unusual, I know, but I’m unnaturally hot.)
Lipscomb University! Last year we sat in the very front of the auditorium, but this year we sat audience right. Things were going pretty slowly, but that was expected. The announcers hadn’t made it to what we actually cared about just yet – the awards. A speaker-woman from the FCC talked on and on about her career and the importance of our generation in journalism. Honestly, she had some good points. Too bad I can’t exactly name the specifics. . . Anywho, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one annoyed that the guy giving awards wouldn’t stick to one topic. He hopped from Newspaper, Broadcasting, and Literary Magazines to Yearbook. Torture, really. (Sort of like this post.)
In the individual awards, Winton and I won First Place for Merrick & Esteban!!! (That was a comic series we created revolving around a haberdasher bird and a party duck.) But guess what! The EDGE newspaper as a whole this year received Best Overall Newspaper! We’re an All-Tennessee newspaper! Ha! Not second place anymore! Woot! I’ll tell you, the whole waiting process was horrible for my heart, but when I heard “EDGE” come from the man’s mouth, I jumped in my seat and chill bumps sprouted all over my body.
When the ceremony ended, we went downstairs to change and talk and be our “wacky” selves like, apparently, journalists are.
Then, it happened. We lost Mrs. Lockhart. Of course our first idea is to do the Dougie and shout random things at passersby and swing. However, I’m assuming someone called the little blonde lady. (Her size won’t matter long in this story.) We made it back to the bus successfully! Then, it was time for lunch at El Rey! Amanda had a Birthday Sombrero placed upon her head, and I ate a Speedy Gonzales. The seniors ate at their own booth with Mrs. Lockhart. When we finished eating, it was time for the real fun:
We strolled our way over to the Lazertag building, and I acted like an idiot the whole walk over. But what’re you gonna do? I’m Milton, they say. For some reason that gives me rights unlike any other. Due to my recent obsession with Sweeney Todd, I used the codename “Sweeney” to slay all of my close friends. Haha!
In the first game there were an assortment of other fictional characters playing as well: Merlin, Watson, Dumbledore, Gandalf, and Sherlock. (Those aren’t the only ones.)
The second game wasn’t an individual effort. We played teams, and the six seniors plus Mrs. Lockhart made up the “Stormtroopers.” You know the sad part? The underclassman called themselves the “Underdogs,” and their team had at least eleven players on it. We beat them down 2618 to 1843! (That’s why Mrs. L’s size doesn’t matter. When it comes to Lazertag, she’s a beast.) In the end, though, I still love them all. We are the champions!
No matter who I’ve been, who I am, or who I will be, the EDGE crew formed in me a sense of celebration and camaraderie. I’m happy to have typed this memory up. Sure, we can work hard, we can panic and get stressed, crumble and cry, but what good does it do to dwell on the dark memories, to fear the worst for the future? I say, celebrate, rejoice. Work hard, and then revel in the hard work with your companions, because without revelry, we’re burying ourselves deep in the misery of our labor.