Tonight I was invited to a party of an old high school friend whom I hadn’t seen since I had graduated.  As if it weren’t apparent enough, high school is a time of which I don’t have many pleasant memories (but then who does), and I’ve remained extremely hesitant about getting back in touch with people I remember from that time.  This one though I had already re-connected with through Facebook, so I was willing to make an exception.  Plus I’m more or less left to my own devices this week, so I was desperate to get out of the house.

She had invited a few other people from our graduating class, and we began to catch up over drinks.  She even showed me an old drawing I did for her our junior year with her as a topless fairy, which if nothing else shows how much my style has evolved over the last decade or so.  Man, seeing how I drew back at 16 or 17 is always a trip for me.  Even when I did the first print volume of “Oh Goodie!”, I included all of one comic from the run I did when I was in high school.  THAT’S how embarrassed I am of my drawings around that time.

While talking, we began more or less telling the same story: the job market was shit, forced to live with our folks, throwing anything against the wall to see what sticks, etc etc.  It’s a story I’ve either told or had told to me time and time again with my friends I DO stay in contact with.  But for some reason it had extra resonance tonight, and for a special reason.

One thing we kept coming back to was what shitheads we were back in high school (another theme I like to touch on rather often).  Hell, I laughed thinking about what a shithead I was through most of college, and even times when I was a shithead now.  I’ve been a lot since I graduated, some good and some bad.  But everything that’s happened since that time has humbled me.  It’s made me a better person, taught me what’s important in life, and taught me that I have to work hard to achieve what I want, but that pursuing my dreams and ambitions is worthwhile.

When I got out of high school, I thought I was gonna be a young hotshot who’s going to have the world around his fingertip by the time he was thirty…yea, that’s not happening.  But after all I’ve been through, I know when and if I achieve my success that I’ll not only enjoy it, but appreciate it more when I get there.  If I HAD been wildly successful by now, I probably would have turned into a shithead permanently and pissed it all away.

They say never lose sight of the prize.  I say never forgot how hard you fought to win it.