Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

First Day of School

School is back in session in this part of the world, which means freshly sharpened pencils, new lunchboxes and backpacks and lots of jitters. I’m not in school anymore, but seeing the photos on my Facebook feed of kids ready to go made me remember the 17 or so first days of school I had (K-College). Most were good. One was bad.

First thing you should know is that until I could drive, I rode the bus. Every day. Rain, shine, whatever. For the most part I loved it. My friends rode the bus and we lucked out and had great drivers most of the time. I even rode the bus on the first day of school. Maybe not for my first day of Kindergarten, but definitely the ones after. By 5th grade, my friends and I were the Kings and Queens of the bus. We sat in the coveted back rows and we knew that we ruled.

When I started Middle School, I asked my parents to take me on the first day. I knew most of my friends were being taken by their parents and I didn’t want to be the only 6th grader on the bus. My parents said no – something about character building. So, on the first day, I waited at the bus stop. This was a new bus, with a new driver and new kids. I got on the bus…and knew no one. To be fair, I was one of the early pick-ups, but still. The bus route went on and still, I knew no one. If there was another 6th grader on the bus, I didn’t know it. Every kid on the bus seemed so much older than me and none of them were nice (maybe they were, but it didn’t seem that way!).

Not long after I got on the bus, things started to go wrong. Our bus driver took some wrong turns and started running late. Since it was the first day, a lot of the kids on the route weren’t riding. But since we didn’t know that, the bus driver would wait at each stop for awhile, making us even later. Keep in mind there were no cell phones back then (the horror!), so even though we all knew we were going to be late, no one could call our parents or the school and let anyone know. We just had to wait while our bus driver got more and more lost.

We finally arrived at school. At 10am. A little more than an hour after school started. I tried keeping a brave face on, but I was now terrified and upset. Take first day jitters, a new school that I didn’t know and the fact that I am almost never late, and I was a wreck.

Three elementary schools fed into my middle school. Theoretically, I knew 33% of the sixth graders. When I walked into my first class (5 minutes before it ended), I knew no one. Not a soul. Every single other kid in that class was from the other two schools and they were all staring at me – probably wondering what kind of yahoo is an hour late on the first day (did I mention that I was a huge dork with awful glasses, frizzy hair and braces? Nightmare.). The teacher made a light-hearted comment about me being late, which I’m sure was her way of welcoming me and making feel at ease, but I was mortified that my tardiness was being mentioned (because obviously, no one had noticed until then).

The rest of the day went fine, if I remember correctly. I found all of my classes, found my friends, and the bus dropped me off right on time. Day two went even better and we arrived at school right on time. When it was time for my first day of high school, I asked my parents to drive me first day. They said no. Then I reminded them of sixth grade. They said yes.

Like I said, just about every other first day of school went great. That awful morning didn’t stop me from being excited for new clothes and school supplies every other year. I miss the first day of school. I don’t miss the second, third, forty-fifth, one hundred and fifth, or last day of school. Good luck to all those who haven’t had their first day yet and congrats to those who survived.

By the way, do you know how far away my middle school was from my house? 4 miles. 10-15 minutes in school traffic.

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“Holly, tell me about your life. What adventures have you been on lately?”

This question was asked to me last weekend when I saw some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile. My answer?

“No adventures.”

It was easy to feel that way. In the past 6 months, they had taken trips to Italy, New York, and the Mediterranean. The last time I left the state it was to Arizona. In 2008. Going to work every day and watching reality tv every night sure didn’t seem like an adventure.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized, “Hey, I DO have adventures!” Last week I went to a Rangers game and got a free seat upgrade. Saw the musical Chicago. Had dinner with some hilarious senior citizens. Went to a monastary.

My adventures don’t involve planes and passports, but they are adventures. Life is full of them if think about it!