So why, last Saturday, did I attend my 20-year high school reunion?
Easy — because life is short. And boring and dry. And if we don’t occasionally force ourselves to face the most uncomfortable of situations, we shrivel up and die in front of the television, a half-eaten bag of stale Fritos in one hand, the remote control in the other.
– Jeff Pearlman, How I learned to love my high school reunion
This past weekend, I attended my 10-year high school reunion.
When I decided I wanted to go, I got a lot of flack from people. Apparently nobody likes to be thrown into awkward social situations. But curiosity got the best of me, so I clicked ‘yes’ on the Evite and didn’t look back.
As I asked people I am still close with about going, the excuses poured in: “I talk to the people I want to talk to and that’s that.” OR, “I know everything about people from Facebook.” OK, point noted. But, even as a social media nut, I can attest to the power of actually seeing people. High school was hard for everyone, from the popular kids, down to the geeks. I think we’re all old enough now to realize we needed those horrible years to grow.
To be honest, I was nervous to go, and I don’t get nervous often. After hearing some horror stories from older friends, I thought everyone would stay within their cliques and nobody would mingle. Thankfully, that was completely wrong in my case.
Once I had a glass of wine in my hand — liquid courage — the guard came down and I relaxed. I quickly found my voice getting scratchy because I was talking so much…and it wasn’t only due to the wine. I was simply enjoying catching up with people I spent 13 years of my school life with.
I was lucky to have had a great high school experience. Was I uber-confident as a teen? Not even remotely. Did I like everyone in my class? No. I had my share of drama, growing pains and ugly moments. But you know what I realize now? We ALL did. And thankfully, it seems like most of us have “found ourselves” and our place in the world.
The fact is, people may not completely change, but they DO mature. The same personality traits I loved in so many of my classmates back in the day were still there — they had just evolved — and I loved talking to people about their babies, wedding plans and careers. Facebook actually was a bonus since we didn’t have to start from scratch in every area of our lives.
Walking into the big room not knowing what to expect was nerve-wracking. But at the end of night, I felt like I had come home, reconnected with some great people, and left knowing I have some
old new friends again.
This is my plea to you: Don’t poo-poo your reunion. If anything, it’s a great excuse to go out and have some laughs with people who knew you when you were younger. And who doesn’t love a reason to party? Go, and I guarantee you’ll walk away at peace with the past. Because nobody on that dance floor was concerned with what clique you belonged to 10 years ago.
All I know is that I’m already looking forward to getting down at our 20-year reunion!
Me with two of my best girlfriends from my high school days…and still today!
Do you attend your class reunions? Why or why not?