A few weeks ago, with some hesitation, I attended my 20-year class reunion. As I have aged, somehow, I have obtained a wee bit of social anxiety…. let me tell you….in the hours leading up to this event it was at an all-time high!
As I was getting ready for the evening, a thousand thoughts ran through my head….
I remembered my parents talking about their twenty year class reunions, and thinking at that time…. DAMN you are old! Twenty years…. seemed like an eternity! Yet, here I am, officially out of high school for twenty years…how in the hell did this happen?!?!
As I curled my hair, I started thinking back over the last twenty years. Although there were some mistakes, and some things that I am not extremely proud of…. all and all, twenty years went fast and it’s been a great twenty!
I married my high school sweetheart, and against all odds and the thoughts/opinions of others, here we are twenty three years later rockin’ this marriage gig! He likes to remind me frequently that I hit “the nuptial lottery” …. And I remind him that I think he’s the one that got the winning ticket. 😉
We have had two beautiful children who fill my heart and my world with happiness.
I’ve changed, but I haven’t….and I think that’s a good thing.
Twenty years later and I still “love this song,” …basically every one that comes on the radio. 😊
I still love an occasional Mountain Dew and box of Hot Tamales.
I still sport the “big hair” every other day…but am very happy to say that in the last 20 years it’s never had a single ounce of color added to it.
I still cherish the friendships I had in high school and regularly keep in touch with some amazing chics that I’ve been blessed to call friends.
I still feel nostalgic when I see a bottle of Purple Passion or Boone’s Farm….and sometimes, even though it tastes like crap, I buy it just because. 😊
I still wish that the Tornado was parked in the garage, it was a huge pile, but it had a sun roof, power windows and a million memories packed inside.
What I wasn’t then and still not today…
I was never prom queen, not even a candidate on the ballot. I’d always wished that I would have been pretty enough, or popular enough, or good enough at sports to be in the running…. but I wasn’t. Even years later I was still holding on to the dream, so I decided that for Halloween I would go as “prom queen” …. I had the beautiful gown, sash and all…. only to find out three days before Halloween that I was pregnant with our first miracle. So, I modified my sash to say, “knocked up”, and I rolled with it…cause you got to make the best of some situations and be able to laugh about it. Ha!
Prom queen was never in the cards for me, I’ve accepted it now and moved on.
Although I was never in a category with the “prom queens”, the “most likely to succeed”, the “future president”, the “voted most popular”, the “class president”, or the “class clown”, that night I realized that they were labels…. that’s all they were, labels. Labels that I never received, and at the time, it was kind of hurtful, as I think it is to any high school kiddo…. but today, I realized that they were just momentary labels that had no bearing on who those people would really become.
When I arrived that night, I discovered, twenty years had passed and the bottom line was that I was standing in a room, surrounded by humans. That’s it. Just humans. As I surveyed the room, I realized that we are all just “people” …. no labels… just people, doing our best to make our way in this big old world.
People who had all equally had their successes, their vices, their highs, their lows, and all the in-betweens. Although we all carry some of who we were in high school with us throughout our lives, we didn’t live there. At the time, we were just a bunch of naive kids who thought we had it all figured out. But we didn’t. Thank goodness, we didn’t!
I’m different now, I don’t compare myself to others or want to be anyone else but me. I am happy to be the extremely weird, random, shiny ball chaser, who is a bit overweight, and has a few wrinkles. The person who when she says that she loves you, really means it with all her heart. The weird friend who meditates every morning in her closet and enjoys an entire pot of coffee before the rest of the house wakes. The one who loves to write and share too much, just hoping that one person will relate and smile. The one who losses her temper and cusses more than your average sailor. The one who still caves over a Little Debbie and a Pepsi, because of her lack of will power. The one that hurts when it’s time to hurt but tries not to live in it. The one that loves to stare at my Hubster, my Littles, my flowers, and God’s beautiful sunsets….the girl so much like you. Twenty years has passed, and I am happier with the labels above, than any label or lack thereof from high school.
Bottom line….I think it is important that we teach our children that high school is a stepping stone….that’s it, just a stepping stone. In the big picture, it’s a small stone, compared to the other big ones that make up this glorious landscaping we call life. The could haves, should haves, and would haves are not a place to set up your tent.
Plant more seeds and enjoy the scenery as you travel along.