A walk down memory lane...20 years in the making
First of all....where the heck did the time go?
And secondly, how did I get so old?
Five years ago when we celebrated our 15th high school reunion I was OK with it. It didn't sound like it had been FOREVER AGO since we had graduated. But now...20 years?!? I think I'm still in denial.
There is no freaking way I graduated from high school 20 years ago.
I don't care what the gray hair screams.
It isn't possible.
Funny how time flies when you're having fun.
As my former classmates arrived at the reunion the reality of it hit me - the last time I saw most of these women was June 1991 when we walked out of Rosary Cathedral after graduation. On that day, many of us simply walked out of each others lives without a second thought.
Sure, I have kept in touch with my "core" group of friends from high school - many of us still live in town and a few of us manage to fit in a dinner/girl's night out every now and then. And, of course, Facebook helps with the whole 'staying in touch' thing with those who aren't still in town.
But the rest?
I honestly hadn't thought about them in 20 years.
And, I didn't recognize some of them either.
But, it was wonderful to see my former classmates - and it was hard to believe it's been 20 years! Some of my classmates still looked the same as they did back then. [I have to admit it did feel good to hear a few classmates tell me "oh my gosh! you look great! you're still pretty".... it's the small victories in life these days, ya know].
And what amused me the most was this - after TWENTY YEARS the cliques still exist. Sure, we all hugged and said hello (well, except for a few people who really didn't say 'hi' to anyone)...but after a while the "old groups" emerged and it was just like the cafeteria 20 years ago. I was guilty of it too .... I sat with MY friends from back in the day. I guess old habits die hard and you naturally gravitate to people who are most like you.
Yes, in case you are wondering....we were gossiping about people as we sat there. And we were also looking through our senior yearbook wondering WHY we ever thought hair bows, scrunchies and square lace collars ever looked good. [The 90s were not kind to us as far as fashion is concerned]. Seriously, some of the photos were just awful...what were we thinking?!?
I've been thinking about my 18 year old self as I "prepared" myself for this reunion, and I kept wondering what, if anything, would my 38 year old self tell me if given the chance. Kind of like a "if I knew then what I know now" exercise.
A few things the 38 year old me would tell the 18 year old me:
- 115 pounds was NOT fat.
- You will never use Geometry in "real" life, so don't sweat it.
- You will also never use Algebra II in "real" life, so it's OK that you failed it that last quarter of your senior year.
- Keep in touch with your friends.
- Going away to college and not knowing anyone else on campus is really OK. You will love it.
- Always speak your mind, even when others think it's not a good idea.
- Don't go to college with a boyfriend. He is so NOT worth it.
- You are a writer. Go with THAT. Don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you differently.
- Get on the college newspaper your very first day at college. Don't wait until your junior year.
- Take more risks. Especially as a writer.
- Don't take Russian in college. You will never use it.
- Take French instead. And then study abroad. In Paris.
- Seriously. Study abroad. In Paris. Because someday you'll be 38 years old, wishing you had studied abroad in Paris while in college.
- When you graduate from college, take a few months off. Explore. Discover yourself. Don't jump into the first job you find. It won't be worth it in the end.
- Go to Paris.
So, what would YOU tell your 18 year old self?