Sunday, August 5, 2012

10 Year High School Reunion-- 5 Lessons I learned.

I came. I saw. I left alive and with dignity.

So last night was the ever dreaded 10 year reunion. I wish that said event wasn't as dreaded as it was, but for some reason there was a cloud of doom over the whole occasion. I don't know if that stems from me not receiving an invite until it was almost too late, or if it was my not being where I should be in 10 years post high school (where is that, anyway?).

Either way, I learned some things.

Lesson #1 My life isn't as bad as I make it out to be. Sure, I've gone through hell and back in 10 years. I went through pain and a smack of reality long before I should have. I've got a child who has somewhat special needs, and I'm not rich and successful. I don't have a college education--- but I AM BLESSED. I've got a mom who will help me with everything she can, I've got memories to last me my entire life, I've got lessons that I learned the hard way. I've got religion, that while it feels under attack lately, keeps me waking up every day. Most importantly, I am my own person, not to impress anyone else. I am true to ME.

Here's an observation about the above statement that I made. MOST of the people in attendance last night (only 1/3 of the class really) were people, who for the most part, haven't had major life events happen-------------YET. Sure, some of them have struggled hard... we've all had our heartbreaks, our setbacks... but generally speaking, the ones who showed up were still pretty good in their life. Married, engaged, pregnant, happily single. They all danced the night away, showed up with beer in the back of the car (because.. apparently some of us never grow out of the BYOB stage of life). They are happy. Things will happen, and how is to say that by the next reunion they are in the spot that I am in now, and I am in the spot they are in.

I am sure I didn't come off like I meant to there-- but basically what I'm saying is that we all have a season and I haven't reached mine yet. 

Lesson #2 The people you consider your friends, aren't. There are a couple of people that I have maintained contact with, mostly due to facebook. This contact goes further than liking a status here or there though. Until a few months ago when they got busy in life, we would take an annual trip around our birthdays. This was legit. Well.. I showed up last night and they were in the car beside me. I get out and excitedly smile and say hello. Then, it happened. Life smacked me in the face. They looked at me, wait no, looked THROUGH me-- and walked away. My heart broke a little bit. The newly minted ghetto me wanted to snap my hands behind my back and be like OOH HEEELLL NAW... YOU KNOW YOU RATCHET. I didn't. I turned around, got in my car and put the key in the ignition. I was going to go home. I was talking to my friend Kim on the phone about it and she was like no, just go inside. I decided that I wouldn't let that get the best of me, afterall... we're friends. I shouldn't be so touchy. I should go in, put my anxiety aside and just have fun. It wasn't like I was a loser in high school... I just sorta floated. Needless to say, I spoke nothing but hellos to anyone the rest of the night. They continued to ignore me. A friend I haven't seen since the 5 year was there, and she was good conversation until she got too drunk to speak logical sentences. It was then that I turned to the lost husband table and struck up conversations. It made me feel normal for a moment. I wasn't drinking, I had water. They reassured me that it's okay to be "over it" because they are as well. This brings me to the next lesson.

Lesson #3 You grow up. I feel like a kid. I don't feel grown up at all... but last night, I felt grown up. I CHOSE to not drink. I didn't cave to some ridiculous peer pressure, I didn't need liquid courage to dance and have fun. I chose to not do those things because it was not an environment I wanted to do those things. I drove myself, like everyone else, and I CHOSE to not drink and drive because that is the smart, logical, responsible thing to do. Somewhere in the mix of people talking about the desire to hit up the club, all I could think of were homeschool curriculum that I need to get together for this week, laundry I needed to do.. and above all that, the REAL friends waiting for me online (yes, online.. real friends) that I could comfortably talk to in my pajamas. My child was at home, my stuff is at home... I just wanted to be home. I am not sure when all of this happened, but I realized last night that it has occured. Oooh don't get me wrong, I'm not a prude. I'll go out and have a good, relaxed time... but with people who I want to be around. People who know me for who I am now, not whatever I may have been growing up (because I went to school with this people from pre-k all the way to 12th)

Lesson #4 It is true. The hot ones become the unfortunate looking ones, and the unfortunate ones become to drop dead slap your momma hot ones.

...and while I learned more than 5 lessons last night, I'll leave you with the last one.

Lesson #5 People are in your life for a season. We have lost 5 of our classmates, all who have left an impact on some part of my life in one way or another. I lost friends last night due to whatever it is that made them think it's okay to just reject someone who has been there for them, HOWEVER... my friendships and bonds I made in high school allowed me to survive high school. It wasn't a horrible experience for me, but it was just that; an experience. People change, we all change. 

Here's to hoping that by the time the 20 year comes around, people have grown more, had great things happen to them.... and that nobody feels the need to impress people, who by all accounts, knew them when they were at their worst. (I mean.. did you not go to middle school?!)   

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