Sunday, January 24, 2010

The year I was an outgoing social butterfly - memories

Since I wrote about insecurity about my introverted personality last week, I figured this post would balance it out with my memories of one of the times I was very outgoing. Actually, one of the Directors at my office was shocked when I told him I am shy and hated being filmed for an interview I did for a project. He told me I always came across like a confident extrovert, which made me laugh. Apparently I've acted well!

Something happened in the middle of my Sr. year of high school and I shifted from being a pretty quiet girl into a far more outgoing and social personality. It made for fantastic times, new friends, and great memories. It is so surreal to look back at!

My class was the largest graduating class from our high school to date. I LOVED us. Somehow while a lot of other people felt the constant strains and relationship conflicts that naturally happen in high school in small towns, I was generally euphoric and starry-eyed about our bonds and friendships.

Sr. Trip - Magnetic Termite Mounds in Australia

We also had the coolest Sr. trip ever - first we flew ... to Australia. Which is where we were in the above photo. I was on a high the entire trip - I was with new friends and meeting up with old friends (including Clare), and crushin' on a boy and generally totally exulting in life and being 18.

OE, our yearly trip into remote interior villages, was also amazing for me, highlighted by one night that included hours of dancing into the night with my small group and the villagers. On that trip I somehow ended up with new friends... some I'd known for years and never been close to, and some that were new to our school. Jon, Ben, Blair, Emily...

Dancing the night away

Then there was my family. My senior year our family of 8 (six kids) grew by two as one of my friends and one of my sister's friends came to live with us. We lived in an old dorm, and it became a social center. It was AWESOME. Constant social fun, and the intersection of my friends and my family. My mom loved having people over, my siblings loved having older kids around to tease them, and I ... just loved everything. Pizza parties, milkshakes, motorcycle rides, sunset viewings, and late night chats.

family car wash!

Ben, the guy in the photo above, joined my class our senior year, and eventually moved into a little apartment near our house and became a defacto member of my family. In the pic above he's helping us wash the family cars and motorcycles. Now he and his wife and baby girl are across the world in Australia... so far away!

Having been a quiet goodie-two-shoes, my friendships with new and non-traditional folks like Ben were rather unexpected and ultimately great for getting out of the box that was the missions community in Sentani (it was a good and bad thing all at once, that box).

Jared, Kacie, Ben

I think that the boys in my life that year and through most of high school really did help prepare me well for figuring out the male brain and eventually understanding and interacting with Isaac with ease. I'm so thankful for those guys - who all remain good friends and that accepted Isaac wholeheartedly (and he them). I love that.

Revenge..(that drum is filled with water and I was dumped in it).

Class praise time in Genyem

I love this photo below - it shows the general mass of friends and family that made up my home life my senior year in different groups at different times. It was precious.

McNeils & more..

In general I was somehow far more sociable than I normally am. Some of that was that socializing gave me a way to avoid the deep emotion that I had about the fact that I was going to leave it all in months.  I had a moped that gave me freedom to get around, which meant trips to hang out with friends, to eat out at local restaurants (Mickey's!), and have random get togethers like the one below, where we had Natalie's cookies, broke the Johnsen's chair, and Jon attempted to teach us all to play American football (it was a miserable failure of an attempt that resulted in fits of uncontrollable laughter).

Fun day at the Johnsen's

I also decided it was crucial that I photograph all boy's basketball games because I was in charge of the basketball yearbook page, which meant lots of trips to neighboring cities and lots of hangout time with the boys. I know..... convenient. ;) Or... completely lame. That strategy actually worked for me, I highly recommend it to any high school girl reading. ;) Our boys team actually won the whole thing that year, and the basketball games were bigger that year than ever before. SO fun.

H.I.S. Boys Basketball tournament

Dancing in the jungle while our flat tire gets fixed

Graduation song - I now believe we sounded AWFUL :)

Junior Senior Banquet

These people... they are precious and dear to me. I know that half of them look back at high school as just high school, and that's normal. I somehow feel this unusual connection to them all - they feel like my family. Shared history, certainly wounds inflicted on each other and embarrassing things that we wish each other didn't know... but loved nonetheless. Now we're planning our 10 year reunion and it's pretty hilarious. We still never agree on anything. :)

Junior Senior Banquet

It's a strange time to look back on. The photos above still evoke such happy feelings and memories - it still feels joyful to me. . I'm still immensely thankful for that time and those people. It amazes me to see how we've grown and changed.

4th Grade

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

just a handful of us - Junior Year

Jr. Year

Senior Year


everydayMOM said...

Wow, Kacie... this post makes me want to become a missionary and raise my kids on the mission field... you must have such an amazing world view.
I can relate to your feeling of not being as outgoing as you used to be. I'm finding myself becoming very introverted and feeling awkward more than I ever did in the past. I think it's because I'm not around people as often... maybe I'm losing my social skills!

debd said...

Your post reminds me of a conversation I had this weekend with our friends from PNG, who are here on furlough. He was saying the same thing about the missionary school children - that they are like family and stay quite close even after they've grown and dispersed throughout the world. It sounded like a lovely way to experience high school.

cclarebear said...

someone had better agree on something for that reunion...!! hehe

very weird to see those pictures again though. verrrry weird.

Kacie said...

It was indeed an amazing way to grow up! However, the particular missions circles in an area can create quite a "box" that the missionary kids feel like they are either in or out of. It becomes quite the identity issue, and affects us for years... so that can be good or hard, or both.

Niamh Griffin said...

It looks like it was an amazing year; it's great that you are still in touch. I only see 1 person from my senior year and bump into others randomly at Christmas when everyone is in town. Your reunion will be great - when you decide where to go!

Sturgmom said...

That's quite a bit like how I felt about college. The experiences were new and there were always so many FRIENDS around. I grew so mug during that short te and the pictures I have are such joyful reminders of blessed days! Not that I'm
not blessed now, it's just different- less carefree, maybe.