I was standing there in my long purple evening gown, wearing heavy make up and a lot of hair do, watching a video about our memories in high school.
It was supposed to be an outstanding night – a night to remember, some would say.
It was my Senior High Prom Night, and yet I stood there flabbergasted, looking back and forth at my teachers and the video projected in front of my eyes. I thought, this can’t be happening. Please, don’t ruin my Prom Night.
Let me rewind the story for a while.
My Prom Night was held at an unfriendly club. The context of our school was a Christian school where 70 per cent of the students never set a foot in a club before. Or at least, that was what I believed.
The committees did everything – the videos, the games, the food. Even the votes. The Prom Night King and Queen were voted only among the committees, and yes, the King and Queen were committees.
But that was okay. It was the night to remember. I had fun with my friends, or at least I was pretending to, and that was what mattered, right?
When the video of how we would reminisce our high school years was played, I squealed in horror.
In there were scenes on ‘How to smoke at school without getting caught 101’, ‘How to skip school without getting caught by the security guards 101’, and other – if I am able to say – disrespecting scenes which made my stomach twisted.
Our dear teachers were there. And I love and honour my teachers. I felt… terrible.
As if it was not enough, there was an after party (read: drinking, clubbing, and smoking shisha) right after the Prom Night ended, which approximately a third of the students in my year went. And the rest of us realised days after that the money we paid for the Prom Night was inclusive of the after party. No wonder it was expensive. We had just subsidised drinking and smoking.
Looking back at my Prom Night, I felt disappointed. I don’t remember the heartwarming, we’ll-be-friends-forever scenes but instead I remember how short of expectation it was.
And I realised, not everything would go as we expect it to be.
Once I read that “Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” In a sense, it’s true. And letting go of the things that go wrong is sometimes the right thing to do.
Let me make that clearer: there are some things that need to be repaired, and there are some things that don’t.
Randy Pausch once told the story of his dented car in his book The Last Lecture. His wife, Jai, accidentally hit his car with another car. While his wife was so afraid that Randy would go mad, Randy let things slipped by, not even wanting to repair his dented car. “Not everything needs to be fixed,” he said.
And it’s true. The key is to find the things that matter most and repair it, and ignore the other insignificant things.
Sometimes when I remember my Senior High Prom Night, I would feel sad. I have watched too many movies proclaiming it was the pinnacle of the high school career. But not everything needs to be fixed. Not everything needs to be perfect.
Just like a less perfect wedding day doesn’t mean a ruined marriage, so does a short-of-expectation Prom Night doesn’t mean terrible high school years.
I may not have the perfect Prom Night, but I have something else: the long-lasting friendship I have forged with my close old high school friends.
I don’t have one masterpiece night where everything fits perfectly, but I have sweet memories about my friends and I throughout high school.
And that’s enough.
Have you ever experienced something bad that you want to fix? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.