28 April 2013

Prom seems like a million years ago...

I saw a lot of high schoolers out this weekend on their way to prom.  And I saw even more photos on Facebook.  For me, that seems like a million years ago.  Even if it was only 6...or 7...or 8.  I was lucky (or maybe not so lucky) to go to prom three times.  My sophomore year was definitely an experience.  Let's just say the only good thing to come of it was that I helped my best friend find the love of her life.  I begged him to take to her so we could all hang out and they've been together ever since.  Oh, and we got lost on our way in the Astrovan.  It was definitely an adventure.

By my junior year I had a steady boyfriend.  And he was a senior.  That night at Wildlife Prairie Park was pretty great.

 Oh, to be young and in love, right?  
Surrounded by friends, we danced the night away and had a blast at After Prom.  I remember we had all made plans to go out to breakfast at 5:00 am when After Prom let out, but we were all too exhausted.

 My senior year I thought I had it all figured out.  I had the dress, the hair, and I was beyond excited for what I thought would be the night of my dreams.
All my best friends were there.  The prom was 1920s themed...and it was on a boat!  It couldn't get much better than that, right?
 And my boyfriend came home from college in Wisconsin to be my date.  We look pretty happy there -- so what could possibly go wrong, right?  Everything. 

My dream prom became a nightmare on the drive home when he said the dreaded words, “We need to talk.” I don’t really remember all the details of the conversation that followed, but I remember feeling like the walls of the car were closing in on me. As he said he couldn’t be with me anymore, I felt as if some one had just carved my heart out of my chest. I gasped for air between sobs, and he told me how horrible he felt. How horrible he felt? Just hours before, he had told me loved me. As quickly as our love came, it went away.

Gravel crunched as we pulled into my driveway, and both of us just sat there after he turned the engine off. In the deafening silence I realized it was really over. I grabbed my things out of the back seat and ran into my house. Throwing that perfect dress to the floor, I went to my parents’ bedroom. When they woke up and saw my tear-stained face, they knew immediately what had happened. I remember them telling me it would be okay and me yelling back that it wouldn't.

To me, it felt as if my life was over. I cried at home, and I even cried at school. My friends, however, were there for me during my darkest hours. They listened when I was ready to open up about the events that had transpired that not-so-perfect prom night. This was my first experience with heartbreak, and it helped me to see the importance of friendship and independence. When I was down my friends picked me up, and I became a stronger individual because I refused the let the situation control my life.

So for me prom is a bittersweet memory.  And every year around the end of April my heart twinges a little. Today though, I realized what happened to me was a blessing in disguise.  Because of that, I went to college unattached.  I was able to live a fuller life as an undergraduate and develop a fierce independence that helped to land me in graduate school.  Just because I didn't find my Prince Charming on prom night doesn't mean he isn't out there somewhere!  Wow, Grebner...that was beyond cheesy.  My bad, y'all!  

I hope you all have great memories of your own prom nights!

Much love,