This weekend is my 30th high school reunion.... Squee!
I have planned on attending - I sent in my money, I sent in my RSVP, and I've been doing everything within my power to look 30 years younger....but I will probably, most likely, "chicken out" before the big event. I do that sometimes...especially in social situations, where my natural "introvert" personality balks at going into highly-populated social situations where an "extrovert" personality is needed. I prefer peace, quiet and my own home, thank you very much.
Besides...my high school years were pretty horrendous.
I had grown up in a neighborhood that was a scene out of "Leave it to Beaver" - middle class suburbia, where I could play with dozens of children out in the street until the streetlights came on. That was my signal to head home. I loved my neighborhood; I loved my friends; and I loved my school. Life was good.
The summer of my 14th birthday, I came home one Saturday morning from a sleepover to find my parents packing. As in, they'd bought a new house - and we were moving. WTF??!!
I was ripped from my idyllic, safe world - where I felt secure and loved - and transplanted to a new town - new schools, new neighborhood - and new people. And I knew none of them. And I didn't feel secure. And I certainly didn't feel loved.
The next four years of school (9th grade through 12th grade) was a blur of me trying to fit in at a new school, while at the same time, trying to punish my parents for moving by trying to be as miserable as possible. If I could just show my folks how truly miserable I was in the new neighborhood, surely they'd take pity on me and move us back.
It didn't happen.
I made friends...slowly and surely...I even had a boyfriend (but dang if he didn't go to my old high school, which was only a few miles away - that would show my parents, right?!)...and I counted the days until graduation so I could escape and head off to college.
My high school boyfriend and I before Senior Prom...May 1980...
In the last few years, I've reconnected with several old high school friends...especially through the wonderful medium of Facebook. I'm somewhat curious to see everyone, and yet part of me is fearful...that old fear of rejection is always prevalent. Some people saw me as a stuck-up snob way back then, when actually, it was just shyness and fear on my part - fear of being rejected and of not being accepted. Fear at being the "new kid on the block." Bleh.
Grandma and me on the evening of my graduation - May 1980
In some ways, I'm not the same person I was way back when I was 17 years old...but in a lot of ways, I haven't changed a bit. We'll see if I can push aside the shyness and fear - and actually attend the festivities - and maybe, just maybe, it will be fun.
*The photo at the top is from my 20th Reunion, taken back in 2000...Yes, I managed to get the courage up and go to that one! Pretty proud of myself for going, and I had a good time, too...so I will probably manage to go to this one, as well....!