This winter break in Pensacola I have had the privilege of seeing many of the people I graduated with and never talk to at a mini reunion party. At first I felt awkward about hanging out with so many people I never deeply talked to or hung out with but as the familiar faces rolled in, I realized many things.
Some things never change. The person who seemed distant like they didn’t have the time of day to talk to you may still be the same. There is no exact reason for animosity, but I learned, we’re adults now. They have their life; I have mine, so it doesn’t matter. This isn’t high school, so we don’t have to be friends. Civility and respect is all that matters.
Insecurity easily returns. In high school I wasn’t out as gay. As I talked about what I’m currently involved with in college, it felt almost uncomfortable to say I’m on the Pride board. I don’t feel ashamed of it or who I am but for one second, I switched to the thought process of, “What will they think?” Then I quickly reminded myself it’s irrelevant. I’m a better, happier person now and have nothing to feel insecure about.
Most of us are single. While a couple of relationships are going strong from high school and some people found new significant others, we’re mostly single. That’s okay! Some days we really yearn date someone. However the truth is: we’re all in the awkward dating pool together. This is true even though each of us is at different schools. We all dealt with a creeper by now. We all have wanted to date someone who wasn’t sure what they wanted in a significant other. But we’re alive, moving forward life and creating funny stories to share with others. Don’t waste any nights being sad over being single.
We were all awkward. We were too skinny or had a few extra pounds. We let our insecurities show. We had and have a stigma associated with us. And it’s okay! Life is a movie and a movie is no fun when the lead doesn’t struggle with some issue. If I could tell my high school self anything, it’s that everything will be okay! You’re only going to get hotter and gain more self-respect along with the others around you.
The good is often forgotten. I had some great memories and inside jokes with these people! We went on trips together, danced at prom, had the same eccentric teachers, dealt with the same classmates and met each other’s families. They’re all good people at the end of the day. We had some fun times and that needs to be honored.
2012 has been a year of great growth through experiences I didn’t imagine. This evening with past classmates and friends wasn’t a full circle moment, but it definitely added to the distance. Who knows what the next reunion will teach me.
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