Kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school. So far I’ve been in four graduation ceremonies.
I remember each one vividly.
In kindergarten I wore my favorite sky blue skirt.
In elementary school I cried along with my teacher and the rest of the class.
In junior high we had a bowling and karaoke party after the ceremony.
It felt sad to say goodbye each time, but graduating from high school left me with an entirely different sensation.
The high school I went to was the absolute best. It wasn’t a highly rated school, nor was it famous. It was an average Tōkyō high school, but I truly think it was fantastic.
I suppose everyone probably thinks of his alma mater as the best. At any rate, every day of my three years in high school was tremendously fun. But they went by all too quickly.
After graduation my classmates went on to a variety of places. Some went to city universities, some to rural colleges, music schools, art colleges, and sports universities. Some transferred to culinary or cosmetology schools, some took a year off from studies or took over the family business, and some went overseas. Some were still undecided.
There may have been some who live in the same country and city as I do, yet that graduation ceremony was our last time to see each other.
Were we to pass on the street 20 years from now, we might not recognize each other. Even though we spent such a wonderful three years of school together, a day may come when we forget each other’s names. How inconceivably lonely it feels to think of this.
But when I consider how after graduation places they have each chosen to fulfill their dreams await them, it feels rather wonderful.
Today’s mere high schoolers will after some years be doctors, flight attendants,
designers, daycare workers, teachers, boxers, and secretaries. They will take on many kinds of occupations.
Through junior high dreams were just dreams, but now it’s different. You can choose a path to attain your dream on your own.
So although everyone followed truly separate paths after my graduation, I think we gained from this tremendously.
I felt those paths we set out on were the starting points of our journeys.
At my high school graduation ceremony we sang H2O’s “Full of Memories”. I can better relate to this song’s lyrics now than I did then. It’s a lonely yet mysteriously refreshing song.
In this way, with every year that passes since graduation, the memories of those days shines brighter and brighter.
These memories are very precious to me.
To those friends I only see once in a while,
and to those I haven’t seen since then:
I am well.
How have you been?
I hope my music reaches you—those with whom I share the same three years.