While I do find beauty in metaphors, I think there’s something terrifyingly fascinating about being straightforward.

Here, let me explain.

In a metaphorical sense, these past four years have been to me as Apollo was to Daphne, as streptococcus pneumoniae is to the human body, as a chrysalis is to a caterpillar.  

To be straightforward, they’ve been…interesting.

We like to look back on these years, classes, shows, everything with rose colored lenses and to coat it all in sweetened honey but all that does is invalidate our own tribulations, our lessons learned and memories made. There have been trying moments, we have all felt them here. And I am sure there are many to come. Because without them, we’d live in a constant state of unknowingness, for how can you truly know what it is to feel joy, pride, and loyalty without ever feeling despair, ache, and betrayal?

We often find ourselves living in contrasting colors, breathing in extreme emotions. We aren’t people who float in shades of grey. And that’s fine, that’s perfectly okay as long as you find some time to eventually see the surface, acknowledge the calm median and breathe with it when we need to. In a literal sense, we are dramatic. We are high school theatre students. We feel the highs and lows of everyday life exponentially stronger and more intensely than our elder counterparts. There is a delicacy in us and the way we live.

Now, I mentioned in my last green room speech about how sometimes, two points are meant to touch but not to last forever. That, with all of us, is this. High school theatre. This won’t last forever, you can’t spend infinite days days reliving stage lights on your skin over and over. This is one of those temporary connections that though isn’t permanent in the literal sense, is entirely permanent in the effect it’s had on you, on your life. Whether it’s been four years or four months, I sincerely hope you carry these memories with you, whether life takes you to Norway or next door. Take them all, the good, the bad, the beautiful. All these memories make up what our experiences have been and you can’t acknowledge one part without the others. I will hold the sound of opening nights and the ever-present scent of hairspray mixed with foundation will always linger. I will weave the tears shed on and offstage into a blanket made of the laughter echoed in this ceiling. I will speak the words I never got to say and replay the ones said to me with sincerity. High school is a place of growth and the theatre is a place of honest, beautifully terrifying vulnerability. These years have shaped us into who are are, whether we realize it or not. So please, hold onto the memories; they will hold onto you.

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