Week 1 - Senior Year, 2006.
That's me alright...late June, 2005 posing for my high school senior pictures & having no clue how much the following year would really make or break me.
As you can see, my hair's a mess & my makeup is scarce...at 17 I still had no real clue on how easy a straightener was or how fast you could put eyeliner on. At almost 22, I still only have mild skills in that department. I was decked out in my favorite silver hoops, an awesome choker, what I considered a dressy hatler top (hey, it had bling...), baggy jeans, and my favorite pair of black boots.
What most don't see is my bump...that's the one thing I get the most about my senior pics...'You can't even tell you're pregnant here!' But I was...nearly 5 months at that point & I can remember clearly how Drew kicked his way through the majority of the shoot. These pictures are only the beginning of that year...Sam & I were broke & still in school, luckily getting into a 'business' class that let us leave a few hours early to catch an extra shift or two at work & stayed up way to late to turn in assignments the next day. All I can remember wanting was to excell in school so that I could give my baby everything they needed. Isn't that the lesson we're told? Teen parents can't POSSIBLY provide right for their kids because of lack of education...studies harp on it all the time. I was determined to prove them wrong & not settle for just being some sidenote statistic.
Monster man was born in November & I missed a good part of the 2nd semester, consequently receiving my first 'F' EVER on a report card. Statistics & Probability, go freaking figure...
The rest of the year was crazy...I've never been one for skipping school, but I'll confess I did more ditching than I care to admit just to catch a nap before heading out for work. At that point, it was like school didn't have the capability of teaching me what I needed to know. I had dreamt of years for going off to some big university & living life just for me, but in the end, that just wasn't in my cards. All my lessons now were life lessons & my son came first, therefore whatever it took to get him what he needed was put before school, which meant to sacrifice all the stock I had put into my academic studies.
May rolled around....graduation, finally, which is a story in its own. Ranking was announced...I'd always been an honor roll kid, even AP plugging down a few AP courses, but the entire last year my devotion had been elsewhere than books for probably the first time in those past 12 years. Names rattled on over the intercom from 25 down & I still was waiting...until they hit 5. Yes, me, who was not supposed to be on that list according to every printed statistic, graduated 5th in my senior class with a 6 month old, final GPA barely 1 point behind our Valedictorian.
Almost a year after the senior photo shoot we walked. My hair was windblown under my cap, barely any makeup was on my face, & my clothes under my gown were again probably way too formal for such an occasion. And what most people never saw was the long and winding road of sweat & tears that brought me there. True, I never got my university experience, but I gained so much more from that year. A loving family of my own & an unmatched confidence in knowing that determination & love can pull me through anything, reguardless of where statistics make you stand. So, thank you senior picture photo shoot for showing me that sometimes it's what you don't see that makes a picture memorable.