Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Season of Last's.

Things have a funny way of inevitably working out. No matter how much you may curse the sky or rejoice along the way, in the end, everything falls into place. All of the pieces fit, placing you exactly where you need to be.

I've been thinking a lot lately about first's and last’s, and all of the seemingly insignificant moments in between. We crave to document and celebrate the obviously monumental. We fill our scrapbooks and photo albums with the milestones of graduation, sixteenths, eighteenths, twenty-firsts. First days of school, last days of school, break-ups, first kisses. I wonder about the first’s and last’s I have forgotten or ignored. When was the last time we fell asleep next to each other, talking about the future? The last time I walked down a particular hallway, drove down a given street, smiled at a now former classmate? We exist, collecting these unacknowledged moments and having no way to realize they are the end of a pattern. We give them no thought at all, and yet these moments are probably more significant than the ones we place on a nostalgic pedestal.

I have been experiencing nothing but last's these past few weeks. As I walked across that stage Monday night and received my diploma, the reality of the situation hit me. I exited the auditorium with my four hundred and fifty or so peers and walked onto the front courtyard and tossed my cap into the air. Graduating high school is a kind of weird that is difficult to prepare for. After four years of mandatory attendance and personal devotion, it is weird to grasp the finality of the end. The season of last's is followed by three months of summer, and then an autumn of first's inevitably rolls in.

I've spent four years surrounded by the same familiar faces, and yet I feel as if I only truly know a handful. Who knows me or presumes to? How can any of us know each other when we do not truly know ourselves?

In the same way the unnoticed first's and last's are more significant than the celebrated, I think everyone we meet has some impact on the people we become. I’m beginning a photography series, seeking to document anyone and everyone who has had an impact on my high school years and the person I have become. The list began small and eventually grew to over one hundred people. I seek to document the significance of each relationship, no matter how casual or irrelevant it may have seemed. It is so strange how quickly we enter and leave each other’s lives.

The truth is, time moves too fast for any of us. We can spend our days harping on the missed opportunities or things gone awry, but at the end of the day, all we can really do is enjoy what we had for what it was.

I have loved my time here. Every moment, positive or negative, has shaped me into the individual I am today. The people I have spent the majority of my time with have meant so much to me, and they have been there for me, throughout it all.

For the first time in my life, however, I am ready to leave. There is a Death Cab for Cutie song that says, “If you feel just like a tourist in the city you were born, then it's time to go.” I am ready to meet new people and begin my next chapter with a fresh slate. As I watched my peers walk across that stage to collect their diplomas, one by one, I thought of all the places each of us will go. All of the first's and last's we will experience as we continue to learn and grow, these moments often going unnoticed, unrecognized, and un-celebrated or mourned. Maybe that’s okay.

Here we go.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The End of the Beginning.

Source Unknown

I no longer fear the goodbyes. I have learned that the farewells that truly matter will always be followed by a distant hello, and those that aren't are meant to exist peacefully in the past, put to rest and remembered for the time shared and valued. For the first time, all of my what-if's and someday's are will-be's and soon's. I feel at peace, and everything is falling into place.

I have three days of high school school left. Four years ago, I faced the days ahead with nervous apprehension. Today, I reflect on my time here with a full heart. I finally feel I am ready to leave. I have walked these halls and driven down these streets, wearing numerous paths onto the carpet, tales to tell. I have worn down these desks and I have laughed and learned. Above all else, I have fallen in love here, with eveyone and everything. And finally, I feel as if I have closure. For all of the hours I have loved you, I can now look you in the eyes and say goodbye. Despite any pain I may feel in leaving this campus for the last time, I know I am ready to go now. I have grown up, and it has been an honor to spend it with the outstanding people I have. 

This evening, I sat alone in the coffee shop I normally visit with my friends, soaking up the environment and learning how to really enjoy being alone. As I drove home, I thought about all of the memories and conversations I have had there and on every inch of these paved streets. I tried to imagine what it would be like to leave this place. I am ready. I know I will return, and I will always have this place, and more importantly, these people, to call my home.

As I watch each of us grow up, I am overwhelmed with anticipatory nostalgia. I know we will look back on these days fondly, and perhaps someday we will find each other again amidst our new adult lives, careers, and families. And if not, I will always cherish this time for what it was.

This is in no means a goodbye, but a reflection. I have a few more months before that day comes. In the fall, I will pack my things and move across country where I will attend the Pacific Northwest College of Art for photography. Tonight, however, my friends and I will ceremoniously put on our best attire and attend our last high school prom looking like royalty.

To high school, I wish you farewell. And while it has been a blast, good riddens. I face my future with great excitement. I am ready to begin the rest of my life.

"To look life in the face... and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Aways the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours."


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Missfits Magazine: Issue 6!

We are proud to present our sixth issue of Missfits with an entirely new look and feel. You can purchase the entire issue in print or download it here. Follow us on twitter, tumblr, and facebook.

Thank you so much for your support!
xo, Maddie

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One Step Closer.

There is something about the changing of seasons and the transition of spring that brings about an inexplicable sense of nostalgia. The familiar scents of budding flowers, new life, and thunderstorms bring back a feeling you can't quite pinpoint--you simply know you've felt it before.

I'm laying in bed with my windows open, trying to start a research paper and thinking about the last few years. I associate memories with seasons, and I remember the last few springs with expectation for the one to come. I am currently on spring break, and now that I have tasted freedom, I don't ever want to go back to school. I have a little over thirty school days left, yet they seem to drag onward endlessly. I cannot wait for summer nights. We have spent our winter weekends cooped up in coffee shops and restaurants, but now we stretch our legs and spend every waking second outside. I want to spend my days reading, running, swimming, traveling, writing, living.

One step closer.