I'm coming up on my twenty year high school reunion. Yeah, now you have free reign to tease me about my age. I don't mind. Because these twenty years have given me time for reflection. It's funny what I've learned over the last two decades.
First, back in high school you've got your group of friends. You know who the popular kids are, the jocks, the princesses, the preps, the art kids (today they're emo), the burn outs, etc. You know your place and you stay within your circle because stepping outside of that circle is taboo. It's like a cast society. Yet no matter what clique you are in, you know all the kids in your class, including the rejects.
Second, back in those high school days you think that everything that happens is so vital, life altering. And maybe some things were big life altering decisions. But most everything in high school is a big joke, only we don't know it at the time. We think the world will end if we don't get invited to that party or senior skip day. Every ounce of our daily occurrences weigh so heavily on who we are. They define us. This can make it or break it for who you are.
Twenty years later I remember the friends who were in my circle. But as I peruse facebook pages of classmates, I honestly cannot remember more than half of all the other people. Those popular kids who I thought were so cool? Yeah, I haven't a clue who they are. I can't remember a single name. Perhaps I've chosen to block out most of their names because high school was a pretty lousy experience for me, mostly because I was painfully shy. It's like a protective amnesia or something. Or maybe, just maybe, these people weren't as important and worship-worthy as I once thought.
Now, I realize that those jocks and art kids are just people. They are moms and dads making a living for their families just like the rest of us. No one is famous for being popular in high school. They're just average joes, putting their pants on one leg at a time. Understanding that makes them a heckofalot less scary and intimidating then they were back then.
So while I'm still undecided about attending my twenty year reunion, I do know that I'm so grateful for the life I have. My husband is an awesome man and father (I call him Ben, even though his name is Jay). We have a beautiful home (do we really need five bathrooms?) and three wonderful children (I believe we coined mini-me, sorry Austin Powers!). We travel, have fun and enjoy the company of good friends. I'm making a living doing something I'm passionate about - writing books for kids - and sharing this experience with those who are special to me. I couldn't have dreamt this life back in high school, because it is beyond my wildest, wide-eyed teenaged dreams.