Thoughts from my High School Reunion
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Have you been to your high school reunion yet? My class recently had its 15 year reunion, and I was really dreading it! In fact I actually didn’t decide to go until the day before! I was having a lot of fun connecting on facebook, but I was pretty much terrified at the thought of actually seeing everybody. The reunion was in Pittsburgh and I live in Indianapolis, so I had an easy out. But, truth be told, I was already planning to be in town visiting my family that weekend. I just didn’t tell anybody because I just didn’t want to go to the reunion. (sorry Kelly!) There are a couple reasons why I didn’t want to go:
1. I HATED high school….and reliving it was the last thing I wanted. I mean, I really hated it. Back then you could miss 20 days of school before you had to go before the school board. Every year I would miss 19 ½ days….and then I would work the system for even more time off. It’s not that I was a poor student…I actually graduated with honors, despite the fact that I skipped so often. And it’s not that I didn’t have any friends…on the contrary, I actually hung out with some of the most popular kids in school. Personally, I wasn’t one of the ultra popular, but I was athletic and was probably fairly well liked (I think). But then there was the drama of high school. I don’t need to tell you what that was like. It’s impossible to forget how cruel kids can be! I never felt like I really fit in (does anybody ever feel like they fit in at high school?) and it seemed like we were always fighting with each other. I was happy when it was over.
However, that was 15 years ago…and I got to thinking. Somebody probably remembers me as a snotty teenager who was mean to them a time or two. But I’ve grown a lot since then. The last thing I wanted was for people to remember me by the person I was in high school. I’ve experienced so much and met so many interesting people who have shaped the person I am now…a person who is so much more mature, caring and accepting of others….a mother, friend and wife who is more giving and less selfish than she was 15 years ago. I figured that if I’ve changed that much, a lot of my fellow classmates probably have too. It turns out I was right…and I didn’t encounter any spit balls the entire night!
2. My appearance was another contributing factor to my reluctance to go. Although I was very thin in my younger days, I’ve since put on a few pounds. OK, I’ve put on A LOT of extra weight. It’s my kids’ fault. I love those little buggers more than anything…but they’ve ruined my body and I’ve struggled to get it back to the way it should be! I just couldn’t help but imagine what people would say when they saw me. I was sure the first thing they’d think would be: “Boy, Rebeca got fat!” The insecurity was paralyzing me.
I’m so glad that didn’t stop me from going because it turns out that nobody gave a damn, and I really had a great time reconnecting with everybody. Now, to be fair, I do talk to quite a lot of my classmates on facebook. But, let’s be honest, that’s a filtered reality and I only post the best pictures of myself. I was still upset to see that I was the fattest one there…but I’m choosing to believe that the people who didn’t come were probably just as fat as I am. Or maybe they’re bald. You know what, though, who really cares? One day I’ll get to a point where I don’t. But for once I didn’t let it hinder me from having a good time.
I’m really glad I went to the reunion. I got to see a lot of people who for all intents and purposes had dropped off the grid. (you know, they’re not on facebook). It was really nice to talk to people I grew up with and had so much fun with as kids. It was also nice to talk to those who I’ve become friends with over facebook. We might not have been best friends in school, but facebook has brought us to a common ground again. I enjoyed chatting with those new, yet old friends. There were a few faces I missed not being there. There were also a few people I only briefly talk to, and quite a lot who I never even said hello to. I feel badly about that, but I’ll chalk that up to nerves and the fact that I was still a little too shy to strike up a conversation. Then there were a few people who I didn’t even realize were there…that might be a result of the open bar. All in all, it was a night well spent and I hope it doesn’t take another 15 years for us to reunite.