Posts Tagged ‘non-challenge’

My high school self

It seems like it was so long ago. I grew up in a small town and there were only 50 people in my entire class. Our school was actually a Jr.-Sr. high school that went from grades 7-12 with a total of about 500 students.  I was a freshman in 91-92 and it was about that time that I figured out that I was gay. I was very popular in high school and not out at school. Since I was a competitive athlete who traveled 70 miles for my sport I was able to maintain a double life. My high school girlfriend did the same sport and I saw her when I was training and during the summer when I lived near the training center.

I played the oboe in concert band and the piano in jazz band. I was honors band president my senior year. I know it sounds weird, but it was considered cool to be in band and even cooler to be selected for the honors band. Our honors band did really well in national competition and brought pride to the school. (Random aside, G.a.vin De.G.raw and I grew up together. He sat right behind me in honors band and played the saxophone. We also had the same private piano teacher. I think he helped make band cool.) My mother always wanted me to be the best at whatever I did, so that meant private lessons and competition in everything. No only did I compete nationally in fancy sport and honors band, but I competed and made All-County band in the oboe and competed in NYSSMA on the piano. I was always practicing, rehearsing, competing, memorizing, exercising, dancing or dieting. It was a lot of pressure, but I guess it worked in helping me excel.

I was also a top sprinter on the track team. My best friend from elementary and high school was on track and it was a great place for us to spend time together. Looking back I was an over scheduled over achiever. I was even voted “Most Likely to Succeed” in the Senior Yearbook. I wish I had taken more time to just relax. I remember feeling like I had to achieve or I would be doomed to live in that small town my whole life.

If I had to tell high school Jackie anything, I’d assure her that she is good enough as she is.


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