Rachel, Day by Day
This past weekend, I went to my 10 year high school reunion. It was nice catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while. I went from elementary school all the way through high school with the people in the photo above! It’s crazy thinking about that. I’ve known them since 1994 when I moved to town. Wow!
The reunion was at a bar in my hometown; we had a drink and some appetizers while mingling. I honestly wasn’t sure about going to the reunion for a week or two, but I decided to go at the last minute. I hesitated because I didn’t think most people would remember me. I was extremely quiet and shy back in the day, mainly because I was always afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing. So, my participation scores in school were always low. My self-esteem went down every time I messed up or someone made fun of me.
When I look back to middle and high school, I sometimes think about the hurtful times. I was always picked last or second to last at soccer practices. Most of the time I was not able to find a partner or group to work with in classes. I didn’t think I was that smart because I was in regular classes, not honors. A boy once wrote Slut on my locker just for the heck of it; that didn’t make sense since I never even kissed a boy in high school. A girl once told me my top was too tight and I shouldn’t wear clothes like that because I had a gut. These things just remind me of my awkward and naive self. My goal in high school was to stay quiet and make it through those crazy 4 years.
But, there were some amazing times back then: Chatting in the hall before classes, writing notes to each other, going to dances, band, tennis, talent shows, my first boyfriend, magnificent cheese song I made up with Renee, crazy fire alarms that got us out of class, Drivers Ed with Renee, Relay for Life in the summer, and so on. My friends were always there for me in good times and bad.
So, what have I learned after all these years? Here’s a list for you:
- There are people who remember me; I talked to them at the reunion and it was great catching up. My high school boyfriend even hugged me, so I had to be somewhat memorable. There was even a guy who remembered me and I didn’t remember him!
- It’s OK to speak up even if I’m wrong or others think I’m wrong (it took me a while to learn this one). I’m glad I’m not so shy anymore.
- Some people have been mean to me in my life, but I’ve gotten better at moving past the bad and just seeing the good.
- I am not stupid for being in regular classes in high school instead of honors ones. I got good grades, so I have to be somewhat smart. And I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished today.
- There will always be awkward and stressful times in my life, but things will get better.
- Life has gotten better since high school, but it’s fun to go back and look at some fun memories.
So, life changes a lot 10 years after high school. But, I feel like a stronger and happier person overall. I’m fine if I’m not remembered by former high school classmates. I just want to be remembered by my wonderful friends and family.