22 Comments

Killer essay, Charlie. Very few writers instill in me a sense of humor, astonishment, nostalgia, and the desire to be a better human -- all at the same time -- quite like you do.

Expand full comment
author

omg Grace can I use this as a testimonial?? 😭

Expand full comment

heck yuhhhhhhh

Expand full comment

In High School I was a music kid. I took theory, jazz, concert, drum line, choir, musical theater.

I had an amazing choir/theater teacher: Mrs. Beck. Those classes taught me focus, stillness, performance, professionalism, and the intrinsic value of practice.

I barely graduated high school with like a two point something I don't know or care GPA. But I graduated with honors in music and had been celebrated at our baccalaureate as the most accomplished person in music for my little class of 300. The chords that accompanied this honor were pink. Excellent.

I never smoked, didn't drink, and when I asked my dad when I could start dating he told me as soon as I could convince someone to date me. Ouch.

Looking back, I can see now that I was looking for stillness and peace. I was someone who wanted to put beauty back into the world and music was the way I could accomplish that.

Though a surgery left me unable to sing for the rest of my life I will always answer the call to be a backup lip syncer for you Bleecker!

Expand full comment
author

This just gave me so many insights into who you are! You sound like you were a responsible kid with a good head on your shoulders. I'm super curious to learn more about the surgery that left you unable to sing for the rest of your life.

I'm down for a lip sync collab anytime.

Expand full comment

I was in high school to go to college, something I'd been waiting for since I was 11.

Also: hairspray. So much hairspray.

Expand full comment
author

Bahahaha. Alllll the hairspray.

You wanted to go to college since you were 11?? I feel like there's a story there...

Expand full comment
May 16, 2023Liked by Charlie Bleecker

“I was not at school to learn. I was there because you had to go to school in order to play your sport after school.” - I know the feeling.

I didn't focus on what I should have near enough. Sports distracted me from school, and the cheerleaders distracted me from sports. Basically, in high school, I wasn't committed enough to what I should have been. Having the seniors attempt to award me with the superlative for ‘Worst case of senioritis’ as a junior says it all (the school wouldn't allow a junior to get the award, lol.)

Great piece. I feel like I know Charlie better now.

Expand full comment
author

Worst case senioritis as a junior is the funniest thing I've heard all week. You need to include that in something you write!

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Charlie Bleecker

I'm going to take a different direction from all these comments and congratulate you on your memoir! Can we be expecting updates on that? Cause I want to be the first person to buy it (and get it autographed when I come to the US XD)

Expand full comment
author

Awww Ishan!!! You're the best. I will absolutely give updates. Right now I'm mostly pumped about reading and learning more about memoir and how other people have done it.

Expand full comment

In high school, I’m not really outstanding,but cheerful to an extent ‘cos I’m the shy type. Like being helpful and caring. Most times late for morning assembly because of hostel chores/duties.

Feel so happy during get together to put away boredom.I’m not the sporty type,but I like to watch it being done, that’s a lot of amusement for me.

Expand full comment

I have no idea who I was in high school. I wasn't allowed to be anybody except who my boyfriend at the time required me to be. I often wonder what I would have been interested in or a part of if I had been single throughout those 4 years.

Expand full comment
author

Oof. I'm sorry Rychelle, that's rough. I dated the same person for 8 years (age 21-29) and I lost myself a lot during that time, too.

Expand full comment

Rough is an understatement, but since then I have learned so much about myself. Plus I choose to use that time as a tool to help/educate others so I wouldn't change the experience.

I had dated this guy from ages 15-20 and then an even worse guy from 20-22 and it's always interesting to reflect back on those times. Your teens and your 20s are some of the most impactful years of your life!

Expand full comment
author

Completely agree about not wanting to change anything. I'm so happy with where I am now, and those yucky past relationships are partly because of it.

Expand full comment
May 16, 2023Liked by Charlie Bleecker

Pretty similar high school profile, but it was girls, multiple sports, being the class clown, and all the while being a secret introvert. I absolutely love that you’re gonna write a memoir. I’m currently listening to Matthew McGonaghy’s biography, Green Lights. I highly recommend it as one of your first memoirs to take in if you haven’t already read it.

Expand full comment
author

Class clown while being a secret introvert.... omg that was my best friend!! And ... she had really bad anxiety. Did you??

I'm definitely going to read Greenlights. I'll let you know when I do!!

Expand full comment
May 17, 2023Liked by Charlie Bleecker

YES!

Expand full comment
May 16, 2023Liked by Charlie Bleecker

I love your reflections on high school. You're inspiring me to use the same prompt. Imitation being the sincerest form, etc, etc 🤓.

Expand full comment
author

You should absolutely use the same prompt! I'd love to read it. We should all write our reflections on high school. :)

Expand full comment