jessie | salt river | middle school grad

if i think back to the girl i was in eighth grade, i remember a girl who liked to perform; liked to make her classmates laugh and was running as far away as possible from the teacher's pet persona but still cringed at the thought of going to after school detention. i was clinging loyally to my friends, crying the night before the last day of eighth grade because we felt like everything was going to change. planning our last act of middle school defiance by camping out in the grassy field next to the school the night before the last day, only to be kicked off and yelled out by the principal a few hours before school started. the lack of sleep heightening our emotions and increasing our tears when we had to say goodbye when the last bell rang. i remember watching the Canadian sitcom Degrassi and thinking that middle and high school were going to be just like that -full of drama and every problem imaginable (shout out to all those that watched Degrassi -I see you Drake).

i knew i liked fashion. i knew my best friend Tierney and i wanted to be known as "Freshman Fashionistas," impressing all the upperclassmen with our savvy and edgy fashion sense. (guys, we wore dresses before it was cool and ditched our backpacks and future back pain for our trendy purses and more shoulder pain). we wanted to make the yearbook fashion page (high school hopes were pretty serious). i knew i loved my friends and the silly adventures we had. breaking into apartment swimming pools and hopping fences and jumping into pools from rooftops (sorry, mom) and making up silly dances in our bedrooms, sleepovers where we all cuddled into one bed, looking forward to fluffy waffles in the morning, riding golf carts around the neighborhood at too high of speeds and "jumping" off. water balloon and marshmallow gun fights with the neighbor kids and singing to Nelly, Ludacris and anyone else we felt cool enough to know about. and i didn't want the bond we had to change. but of course it does, and it did. but the memories i have, i cherish. and the adventures continue and get better. i promise.

jessie, i wish you all the adventures i had. all the uncertainty and awkwardness too. all the fashion mistakes (girls wearing boys Abercrombie cargo shorts was cool, okay!) and silly high school dance photos and even sillier high school dances and sleepovers and dressing up for football games and lessons that are hard to learn, but you'll be glad you did. i think it's so important to reflect upon this time and how crazy amazing and scary and fun it is to be 13. to remember that you like sunflowers and taylor swift and playing with makeup and wearing your pink Chucks. remember all the songs you like right now and what they got you through and the crushes you had no matter how they might feel back. you'll look back with fondness and smile. i promise.

 thank you for letting me go on a little adventure with you and for allowing me to take your picture. i hope you feel pretty right where you are. right now. enjoy high school and the many many adventures ahead, you lovely girl!