Before we begin, let’s establish one important piece of information: I haven’t created this blog for a huge reason. I’m not traveling the world, I’m not a fashionista, (far from one, actually,) I’m not an amazing cook, I don’t do things that could change lives. I’m just a kid named Tanner from Utah who likes to sing and works in sales. That’s it.
I’ve created this blog more for myself than anything. It will be something of a public journal. Anyone who follows me here will get to see me slowly transform to whoever I’m going to be a year, two years, six years from now. Maybe someone out there will be able to relate to my experiences. Maybe not. Time will tell.
As previously stated, my name is Tanner. At the time I’ve published this post, I am eighteen years of age and counting quickly. I’ve just graduated high school, and I’m heading off to college next month. I’ve received a theatrical scholarship to a university, and I will be studying English and Musical Theatre. Not practical, I’m well aware, but I hope to someday be a professor of English. The Musical Theatre came to be as a result of a happenstance scholarship that was offered to me. Up until several months ago, I never would have imagined I’d be studying theatre. Maybe I’ll be in a Broadway show or two. We’ll see. I love to write poetry, as well as fiction, and I’m sure a poetry page will pop up here sometime or another, as I compete in poetry slams frequently. I’m your average dude. I like video games, action movies, and hanging out with friends. I have a job in sales, which has benefited me greatly in the past month or so. I encourage everyone to give sales a shot. It’s worth it. I live at my parents house now, but in less than a month, I’ll be moving away for college. I have an older sister (20), two younger brothers (15 and 11), and three younger sisters (All 6. Yeah, they’re triplets. No big deal.) I love them all, and can’t imagine life without them.
So there’s a little bit about me.
For my first post, I want to outline some of the best lessons I learned my senior year. I’ll try to be brief with every one, but it was a lot to learn in one year.
One: Snag any opportunity you have. They don’t come often. An opportunity for a better job, a chance to meet new friend, a chance to see an old friend, an exciting romantic encounter, none of it happens ‘just because’. Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor, as Cinderella so aptly quotes in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Don’t judge the theatre kid.
Two: True friends are hard to come by. This year, I’ve endured several damaging betrayals from who I then considered my closest friends. I found it amazing how quickly someone else’s false words could change how my friends viewed me, despite the years and years of friendship that had preceded the incident, and in complete disregard for what I had done for those friends. I started my Senior Year with no more than three friends. Through the course of the year, I became acquainted with dozens, if not hundreds, of others, and many of which, I considered to be close friends of mine. Now, going into college, I’m back to having three close friends, but not the same ones I began the year with. These three friends have stood by me no matter what mistakes I’ve made, and no matter what rumors resounded through the hallways of the school or invaded the conversations of my peers, and no matter who has tried to come between us. If you find a true friend, hold on. Hold on with everything you’ve got. Because, in the end, they might be the only thing left to hold on to.
Three: Nothing is ever hopeless, no matter how bleak the circumstance may seem! Things can ALWAYS be turned around, but it will probably take some effort. Things don’t usually work themselves out on their own. However, sometimes, waiting is where the effort comes into play.
Four: You don’t have to do everything alone. Use your assets. If you need someone to talk to, call your friend. I can almost assure you, it will strengthen your friendship, as well as both of your spirits. It’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to always be strong. You don’t need to pretend that you’re completely okay. Anyone who says that “faking it ’till you make it” works is full of crap. Don’t bury the problem. Don’t “get over” the problem. Look the problem in the eye and say, “Why is this hurting me?” You are bigger than the problem. Even though the problem hurts, it won’t always hurt. Pain passes. But while you’re there, you can reach out to someone. It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to find a counselor. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you brave, to admit that something is wrong. You don’t have to be alone. You are only ever as alone as you will yourself to be.
Five: Not being able to let go does not represent weakness. Whether it’s letting go of a romantic relationship, or a friendship, or a family member, feeling the pain of the loss still, six months after the initial trauma, only means that you felt the relationship extremely deeply. That is a gift. That is something to be proud of. Though the pain of the other person finding a new source of that relationship may be too much to bear, you can rest assured in knowing that what you felt, and what you still feel, is the most real thing that humanity has to offer, and that is love.
I learned so much this senior year, and I’ll be sure to post more about it in the future, but for now, I’m going to sign off. I look forward to seeing where this blog could go!