I said YES to going to my high school class reunion!
I just went to my high school class reunion and It was a blast!!! It was a decision I contemplated for months, and I am so happy I said YES to going! I only had a small circle of friends in high school, and since I only saw a few of them on the list who would be there, I wondered if I would have enough people to reconnect and talk with. To my delight and surprise, I found everyone to be overwhelmingly open, welcoming, and friendly…even people whom I really didn’t know personally way back then. We had a huge graduating class – over 700.
The camaraderie was evident – after all – we all had a shared experience of being together in the same place for 4 years. There were some I had even attended grade school with…so we go way back to age 5.
Now, I’m sure the dynamics are different at each reunion – whether it’s the 10 year, 25 year, or beyond. Afterall, we are at various stages and maturity levels at each of these milestones.
My assessment of my recent reunion – which is 25 years+ – (I’m not telling) – is we are all at the point in our lives where many of us have grown children, grandchildren, and are either in a position where our careers are either winding down or have retired early. No competitiveness which I could sense – just a genuine sense of joy in seeing people from our past and finding out how our lives were lived
There were so many great, interesting things to learn about each of them and even surprising stories of fun adventures. Many of my classmates were shocked I am still working full-time in a business I am completely passionate about with no plans of slowing down my pace. They also thought it pretty cool I raised exotic felines – ocelots & margays for 25 years.
We had a lot of laughs, shared memories, mourned our classmates whom had passed, and exchanged #’’s to plan some get togethers.
There is one especially memorable story for me, which actually helped to heal old wounds. In grade school during 7th and 8th grade, I had two girls who were brutal to me. Mean beyond words. Calling me horrible names, saying I was skinny and ugly and unwanted, excluding me and making up lies so others wouldn’t want to hang out with me.
Countless times, I went home crying and my amazing, loving, and witty mother would comfort me and tell me I was the most beautiful, wonderful, and smartest child to reassure me. She would say such funny things to deflect the pain I was feeling and soon I would be laughing again.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, one of the first people to come up to me at the reunion to ask if I remembered her, was one of those tormentors. She told me how fantastic I looked, that I was beautiful, slim, and fit and was so stunning. Well, I can tell you I was stunned! My inner voice said – you were one of my worst tormentors and I carried wounds from that my whole lifetime.
So, I graciously smiled, thanked her for her kind words and we chatted about our lives. This came full-circle and turned out to be such a gift to me to instantaneously lift up that wounded inner child. Something which hurt me so badly, seemingly had now vanished in that instant. Did she remember what she had done?
Maybe – consciously or unconsciously perhaps. Who knows. But something moved her to make it right with me. She did and I forgive her! That alone was the price of admission for that event! For in forgiving her, I released my inner pain. My mom was right all along!
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