I have been high almost every day of my life. When you see me on the Set, I’m high. When I’m walking through the halls, I’m high. When you see me in class, I’m probably as high as a kite. I randomly burst out in song, smile for no apparent reason, giggle at comments no one else finds funny, babble on inconsequentially and daydream incessantly.
And I’ve never smoked anything but sliced turkey and the occasional ham.
For those of you who, like me, did not know that ganja meant the same thing as marijuana, let alone that there was a whole day dedicated to the herb, here’s a brief rundown of what 4/20 is. According to published reports, the term was coined by a group of five friends at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, Calif. The friends, nicknamed the “Waldos” because they would hang out on a wall outside of school every day, would discreetly reference 4:20 p.m. as the time they would meet by a statue of Louis Pasteur to hunt for a mythical hidden stash of marijuana somewhere in the city.
Eventually, the phrase became a code between the friends for anything marijuana-related. 4/20 has transformed into a phenomenon celebrated worldwide as a day for smokers to communally participate in a day of indulgence and camaraderie.
Now I’ve always regarded the idea of smoking very skeptically. Even if I didn’t have allergies, it’s just something that has never interested me in the least. I guess I’ve seen one too many “Above the Influence” commercials. However, in the fun-loving spirit of 4/20, I too will be chasing my own ultimate high today. I’ll start with a visit to the gym, because exercise is proven to produce endorphins, which can generate peaceful, happy feelings. Then, I’ll put my iTunes “Most Played” playlist on shuffle so I’ll have a constant serenade of my favorite songs throughout the day.
I’ll seek out some of my favorite people to make me laugh so hard I cry. The best part about it is, long after all the traditional 4/20ers have come down off their highs, I’ll still be on cloud nine. My high is the kind that follows you everywhere you go and seeps into everything you do. It’s the kind of high that a bad day, one frustrating person, a bad grade, an uncooperative professor, an empty gas tank or even an empty supply of substance (cough,cough) can’t deter. It’s the kind of high that has derived from experiencing and surviving the lowest of lows and the knowledge that nothing you experience can even compare, because you’re prepared.
For students who like the natural color of their lips and value their short-term memory and learning skills, but still want to celebrate their 4/20 without artificial enhancement, find your own natural high that makes you happy. For some people it’s religion; for others it’s as simple as a good book or a piece of chocolate.
So whether or not you decide to pay a visit to Puff the Magic Dragon for 4/20, find and cherish those intangible, long-lasting elements of your life that can keep you high for the other 364 days in the year.