Those were most of my close friends from Jr. High School. Again, I need to mention that we went to a small school, so everyone was 'friends' in a sense of the word, but not always the kind that hung out together. We would spend time together as needed on projects and we would all interact in class since we were so small.
Also, we had what we called 'Grade 9 Grad'. Since our Jr. High was in one town and then we all went to the next town over to go to High School, it was definitely a graduation. It was always a big deal to pick out our theme and decorate (the grade below always decorated for the graduating class which was fun) and to pick out our dresses and all those fun things.
I have mentioned Maryn a few times before in this blog, because she was another girl that I knew from church, but at the point where Jr. High ended I didn't know her SUPER well since I didn't go to church that much - but I still knew her from camp and stuff like that so we weren't totally unknown to each other. A bunch of the kids from the town where we would eventually go to High School were invited to our grade 9 grad celebration, and I remember that Maryn came with her boyfriend at the time, J. Now, this boy was quite ticklish and he was very fun to poke and I pretty much spent the night torturing the heck out of him. Later I found out that Maryn thought I was flirting with her boyfriend, much to my surprise. That's how you flirt? Wow. My obvious lack of interaction with boys who wasn't a brother or a friend of a brother was obvious.
Luckily, Maryn forgave me for the incident and we got to be good friends. We were more of 'acquaintances' (as much as you can be in a place that small) for the most part until the end of grade 10, when we were both on the rugby team together. All of my best friends - Renee, Lissa, Mel, etc - didn't play rugby, so I had to make some 'new' friends. I have never really been the kind of person who is a good runner, but I have always been pretty tough (growing up with my older brother kinda makes that happen, whether you like it or not) and I thought it was fun to be able to hit people without getting in trouble (maybe I had some aggression issues I had to get out? hmmm ...). Maryn played though, and that was awesome. We bonded a lot as team members when we would go to away games and during tournaments and stuff like that.
By the time graduation from High School began to roll around, I hadn't really thought about where I would go to school or what I was going to do afterwards. Maryn and I talked about it and she told me she was applying to church schools, and we decided it would be really fun to go to BYU together - so I applied to the church schools as well, but of course I am a procrastinator so my applications were submitted late. Maryn got a response first from BYU, and unfortunately she didn't get in, but she got in to BYU-Idaho. I got my letter from the Y-I first, and I was rejected. I was so sad - if I couldn't even get into the Y-I (which had just recently made the transition to a 4 year university) then I was never going to get into BYU Provo either. What was I thinking only applying to those schools and nothing else? Crap! I was pretty much panicking. But then, I got my letter from BYU Provo and to my surprise, I was accepted (but because of my late application I wasn't accepted until the winter semester)! Woo! I could go to college! I was sad I couldn't go with Maryn, but at least I had somewhere to go. And if she and I hadn't applied 'together' then I never would have applied at all and who knows where I would be now? Thanks Maryn!
Later on she moved to Provo so she could attend UVSC and work and just experience something new. We hung out quite a bit and it was always a blast - she is so much fun! While in Provo she met her husband and got married and all that fun stuff. They now have 2 kids and are happily supporting each other while her husband finishes school (at least, that's the impression I got from her Dad, who I saw at Christmas - he was very sad she couldn't be there). It is interesting to me because I know that Maryn had her period of time where she wasn't the best member of the church, just like I did, but she managed to grow and learn from those experiences and become the amazing person that she is now because of it. She taught me that people can change, and will change, and that we can definitely learn from our mistakes. She taught me to be forgiving of other people's mistakes as well, because just like I changed and became better, other people can too, and they deserve the chance to prove that.