You’re Always 17 In Your Hometown

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Have you heard this song? “You’re Always 17 In Your Hometown” by Cross Canadian Ragweed? I just did for the first time…kinda makes me nostalgic.

For some, the idea of high school brings a smile to the face. For others, they cringe. I kinda split the difference…

It’s true…no matter who you’ve become since high school, that primary identity is how you’ll be remembered forever. Granted, it’s only by those people who knew ya then, but still. If you look at many famous people, not all of them were studs in high school. Hell, the whole reason why Marilyn Manson started a band was because he was an unpopular public high school kid who wanted some recognition, but couldn’t get it through athletics like the other students. Doesn’t it make you a little happy to think of the king of evil and darkness sitting in Algebra 1, chewing on his nails and wondering if he’ll get slammed into a locker between classes?

In a few weeks, my class of ’93 from Montgomery County R-2 High School will celebrate our 15 year reunion.

“You’re always 17 in your hometown…”

True? Maybe, maybe not.

I was one of the people who really enjoyed high school, though not until my junior and senior years. Before then? Yeesh! Hated it! But once I was the big fish in a small pond, it was a blast!

Yet, due to the fact that six months after graduation I was blinded and changed forever, THAT is the image I think most folks in my hometown remember. No matter how many books I write, goals I reach, bucks I make, places I go, fame I acquire…my opinion is that, to those from my hometown, I’ll never be anything but that kid who got in that bad accident.

And ya know what? I’m wrong. My opinion is that those residents may be limited in what they can view of me…but that just shows I’m the limited one. I box people into a boundary from which they can’t escape. That puts me in the wrong. I’m more guilty than those I’m forming opinions about!

Thus, my goal is to just live it. My life, the way I want it, on my terms, growing, developing, focusing. TThe opinions of others won’t hold me back, and I won’t allow my opinions of myself or others to limit me, either.

For the upcoming reunion, my goal is to simply go into it, being excited I’m able to meet & greet with people I haven’t seen iin 15 years. More so, though, I want to be able to throw out the opinions we often form in our youth-you don’t always have to stay at 17 in your hometown.

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  • Anonymous
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    So, I was trying to figure out the artist of that song and stumbled across your writing. I think that story is very touching and you sound like a very inspiring, amazing person. I thought u should know that!!!

    ~Sarah, Mississippi

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