7 months. 18 meetings. 3 retreats. Post-meeting trips to McDonalds, dinner at Newks, game nights, sleepovers, phone calls, planning group prayers via facebook. Everything.
On June 4, 2010, I got the BEST letter in the mail. I was asked to be on something called SEARCH Team. It's a group of high school seniors and four adults that meets every Thursday starting in September, and puts on two Catholic retreats for 11th and 12th graders in January and February. It's a huge commitment and takes a lot of time, but I knew it was a great opportunity that I didn't want to pass up. However, I didn't realize that I truly had NO clue what I was getting myself into.
I got to spend my senior year of high school getting to know 13 hilarious, incredible, amazing kids. Not to mention I gained 4 kind, caring, and loving parental units. We're all different, but we all have one thing in common: our faith. Not to mention we all enjoy dance parties, the beach at night, and being silly/obnoxious teenagers. :) Considering we saw each other for 3-4 hours every Thursday night and spent a lot of our weekends together, we quickly became best friends. And THAT is still an understatement. We pretty much became inseparable. We cheered for each other at football games, open mic nights, and yearbook distribution days. We listened to each other rant about how completely ridiculous our parents were being. We spent car rides to Wiggins together babbling about our week on the way there, and looking at the stars all the way home. And when meetings were cancelled due to bad weather, we held our own meetings via skype/tinychat. Thank God for webcams! We learned so many new things together, such as: You always open a bag of chips from the bottom. 1 in 5 couples met online last year. Stay away from Jordan, black people are the first to die in movies. And when your dad is a deacon, he can do whatever he wants. :) We spent lots of nights together staying up so late trying to finish getting things ready for the retreats, and then spent weekends getting no sleep and changing lives together at those retreats. Eventually March rolled around, and it was time for our last meeting. We cried, and cried, and cried.... and cried. We knew it was the end of the magical Thursday night meetings, but definitely not the end of the amazing bond we've created.
We all got together yesterday because in a few weeks we'll be going off to college.
All 14 of us hadn't been together since our very last Thursday night meeting. Some of us are going State, others are going to USM, and then there are a few going to LSU, Alabama, and USA. It was by far the best weekend of my entire summer. Being with them just feels.. normal. I can tell them everything and I can be my whole self with no worries about anything. It's like being in a room with your family. They are my family.
As sad as it is to not see them weekly, I'm not worried. We always keep in touch and see/talk to each other a few times a week, if not daily. It's just like having 13 extra brothers and sisters. We jump up and down excitedly with each other when something good happens, listen when something bad happens, and roll our eyes when someone is being straight up ridiculous. We eat, laugh, and pray together, and always find a way to cause some trouble. :) Apparently we also plank in each other's houses when that person isn't home.... ahem.
I wouldn't trade any of them for anything in the whole world.
To my incredible team, I am so, so, so, so blessed to have all of you in my life. There aren't enough words in the world to describe how amazing the past year has been. Thank you for the best experience of my entire life. I can't wait to spend the rest of my life causing trouble and having fun with you guys. I love you all with my whole heart.
PS- While you're out there getting where you're getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you.