Twenty years ago I entered my senior year in high school. I had just come home from a summer in Ecuador, and I had shoulder length blonde hair that I was devising a plan to cut into a pixy (do I sleep with gum? Do I just lie? My parents would never let me do it). I had gained a solid 10 or 15 lbs. that summer to add to the several I already possessed overweight. Heroin chic I was not, but maybe I could go skater/raver/punk. The girls at school already didn't quite get me, so who would care?
That year I clad myself in funky vintage sweaters and JNCO. I lied to cut off my hair, and desperately searched out an identity that wasn't entirely centered on singing. I didn't think I was able to be who I desperately wanted to be, so I had to find an alternative.
Fast forward twenty years, and it is well-established that I am a quirky bird. "Fitting in" is finding my people- just a handful who get who I am and where I'm going (so what if I had to birth half of them:). And at this point, I know who I am, and I'm alright with me. I'm still tweaking, and that's ok. High school wasn't everything, but it was an important season that shaped some of how I see myself and the world.
So seniors, everyone is probably telling you that high school doesn't matter in the scheme of things, but I would like to say that it all matters. Every little piece of your life can be used for something else, if nothing but for a blog you write in 20 years. This isn't a "no regrets" speech, because boy, do I have regrets (that pixy, for instance). I am just saying that it's not wasted, so don't let people talk you down. That's all.
So here is the lovely, intelligent, confident, and free Alissa.
Thank you for looking.
Hair and Makeup: Rachel Biestman
Photography: Patrick Biestman
Flower crown: Rachel Biestman