Tonight is my high school reunion and I admit it, beneath a calm exterior I am feeling a little – ok, maybe a lot – anxious.
It’s not so much because I’ve planned the evening. I hope it goes well, but I’ve done what can be reasonably expected, and the rest is up to those attending to have a good time!
No, it’s more because it’s a high school reunion and anyone who says they’re not just a wee bit anxious about such an event is lying. High school is such a potent time, especially for those of us who weren’t ‘popular’. (Ok, for everyone.)
I won’t say that I was UNpopular – I generally got along with others – but I most certainly was not part of the ‘cool’ clique. And yes, I so longed to be.
It’s been interesting planning the reunion through Facebook. First of all, it’s not going to be huge surprise to see what people look like. Less awkward, but perhaps less fun. There will be minimal ‘oh I remember you!’s or trying to recall so-and-so’s unmarried name. Most of this has already happened.
Planning online has also allowed for a pre-reunion friendliness and camaraderie to emerge – a pleasant surprise for me. I’ve connected with classmates I didn’t speak two words to in high school. And there has been some softening towards those I once felt edgy around.
Most people seem genuinely excited to see each other. And I hope this translates from the digital to physical!
Of course, there have been a couple people who’ve triggered unpleasant memories and put me in touch with my teenage self, and all her uncomfortable feelings. Funny how we can instantly revert back to those states, under certain circumstances!
I remember my best friend immediately becoming popular upon entering high school, and ditching me for the cool crowd. She and I didn’t have much of a relationship after that – until we ran into each other a few years after graduating. We picked up where we left off at 13 years old, and since then, we’ve been close.
I get that those kinds of friendships and scenarios are all part of the high school deal. We were kids! However, I can’t help but wonder how I’ll feel once I’m transported back to those years, seeing all those same people. Will I have my back up, despite my best efforts not to? Will she ditch me again?
As friendly as everyone’s been, part of me is anxious that people will automatically morph into their respective teenage cliques. That I myself will go to that 16 year old place of feeling the outsider, awkward, left out of the fun…even though I’ve planned the whole frickin’ reunion! (A bizarre turn of events in itself.)
All this being said, I realize I am not that young woman anymore. I know that most of us have grown up and matured – and that even if people revert to their high school roles, it’s more from nervousness and autopilot than anything.
I have to remind myself that my inner teenager would not have felt comfortable putting herself out there to the extent I have in recent years. I will have compassion and understanding if she does goes ‘into herself’ tonight. If unpleasant or insecure feelings come up, I will acknowledge and accept them. I won’t make her feel wrong, as she so often did back then.
But I will also know that this is a golden chance to heal those painful feelings. To observe the triggers from a place of greater wisdom, experience, and self-love. And if we’re going to get all metaphysical and multi-dimensional about it, to literally transform the past from the present perspective.
Ultimately, this is a chance for me to choose what I want to experience above all else: FUN. To create a new ending, thereby changing the story.
How I experience (all) things is really is up to me. That’s the beauty of it! If I have the intention to be present with myself and see all of us with new eyes, I really can’t go wrong.
Not yet sure if this is to be continued… 😉