Venice High School was where it all started for me — the table where I ate lunch with girls that I would never see again after graduating, the cracked tennis courts where I learned that sports weren’t really my thing, and the baseball field where I shared my first kiss with a boy who I didn’t really like. At the time, I didn’t know that these experiences were preparing me for a life beyond the doors of Venice High, but walking through the campus reminds me of how all the bad moments prepared me for the good ones to come.
It’s difficult to learn to be happy with failures, but once you learn that lesson, life instantly becomes much easier. There's something about meeting let-downs and disappointments face-to-face, and learning to be okay with things not panning out. As I walk past my lunch table, the tennis courts, and the baseball field, all I can do is quietly laugh to myself, "If only I had known what I know now." After all, hindsight is 20/20.
As I head out from school grounds I pass by Venice Beach, the spot where I learned to swim, and where I learned not to drown. Thinking back on all those swim sessions avoiding the undertow, it’s hard not to wonder if that’s what high school is all about: mastering the art of avoidance, knowing when to call it quits, and familiarizing yourself with what it’s like to be alone. Whether it’s high school or the undertow, you’ll never be fully prepared, so I guess life is really all about being prepared for a lack of preparation.