Monday, August 3, 2015

A Fear of the Twenty Year...

I struggle a little bit.

I love writing.

I love writing in my blog

It's like my journal.

All this being said, I sometimes get writers block.

It's like I have so much to tell you all about and no good way to say it's like I'm just gonna have to give you a run down in order to get my journaling done and I hate doing that.

I have had so many wonderful experiences this past week, but have not found the words to illustrate all the great things that have happened in the last 9 days.

I've been wanting to write about my experience at my 20-year high school reunion.

Last year, toward the end of the year, the 20 year alumni gathered to put on an assembly for the 2014-2015 classes at Spanish Fork High School.

It's tradition, I guess.

I don't see people from high school very often. I'm not really sure why, I just don't.

That's never bothered me because, frankly, I didn't want to see many people from high school.


I had fun in high school. I played sports, went on dates and to school dances, supported other team sports, and even had some leadership opportunities. All in all it was a good experience.

Somewhere along the way, though, I forgot most of the good things about high school and remembered the bad. My memories of high school mostly included being injured during basketball and missing out on a scholarship opportunity my senior year, falling "in love" with boys only to find out they were only interested in my friends, realizing I was mostly quite awkward, hearing rumors that had been told about me and the side effects because of people who believed those rumors.

I didn't realize how many insecurities I had until the opportunity came up last year to see many I had graduated with. I kind of panicked. So I didn't go.

I was sad I didn't because there were people that did go that I would have liked to see, but was also relieved that I hadn't gone because I didn't want to learn that those people I cared about could care less about me.

I didn't register for the actual reunion until the very last second of early registration (I had to get the discounted price you know). I had a pit in my stomach when I sent the approval for my credit card to be charged.

What had I done?

I was going to face all my fears.

I don't like being remembered as the goofy, awkward, hyper tag-along I felt I had become known as.

I just knew that some of the people who teased me in high school were going to tease me again.

Plus I was going by myself and wouldn't have my hot husband to fall back on and give me some credibility... I mean, he's hot. I had to have something there for the focus to be on instead of me having gained weight since high school and still just as awkward and hyper when put into an uncomfortable situation.

Here I was going to an uncomfortable situation in an uncomfortable way.

I debated backing out and giving someone else my ticket for dinner and brunch but decided that it was time to face my fears and see people that I hadn't seen in years whether they liked me back then or not.

When I walked into the brunch that morning I was so scared and nervous all the way through the parking lot to the door. I put on my nervous smile and did that thing I do when I am really nervous and just jumped in and started talking to people as I approached. I had already hugged half of them the day before at the parade on the alumni float, so I shouldn't have been so nervous.

photo credit: Kimberly Cropper

Within 10 minutes I was quickly reminded of what a wonderful group of people I had the chance to go to school with. It was also a bit of a relief to realize how many other people were as nervous as I was, if not more so.

I tried hard to overcome being terrified of talking to certain people and was pleasantly surprised and reminded that we've all grown up a LOT since high school. To be honest there were a few conversations that reminded me of things I had been left out of or overlooked by, but they were also a good reminder of the great things that happened in school and how blessed I was to have been surrounded by so many great people.

I was so far out of my comfort zone, but was slowly starting to find comfort in the conversations I was having. Some people who I even thought absolutely hated me even spent time talking to me.

People think that I am a very confident and outgoing person. That's my fault.

I distract myself from my fears and uncomfortableness by being loud, hyper and overzealous. Kind of a weird thing, I know, but a lot of us do that same thing.

Later on that night we had a dinner, program and dancing. We partied hard and danced until midnight and that is saying something for a bunch of 38-year-olds!

That's me in the middle wearing red and gettin' my groove on... it took a while for everyone to join in,
but my friend, Mary, really knew how to get the party started! She can really boogie!

I had so much FUN!

Genuine good fun!

One of my childhood friends from Kindergarten to Seniors in high school. We always got mistaken for each other... all the time. You can't tell much now that we have different hair color, but I had to get a picture with her for old times' sake.
Here's a flashback from my senior year and the two taller brunettes on the left are my friends, Mary and Rochelle.
They are in the photo below at the reunion with me.
Me and some sweet people... I had to laugh when they handed us our name tags with our senior pictures on them... tee hee! I don't know if I was more embarrassed to be reminded that I've gained weight since high school or more excited to now realize that I would recognize more people if I could only get a glance at their high school picture.

I do have to mention, though, that I was completely and totally mortified when I was drug onto the floor and peer pressured into performing my Michael Jackson's "Black or White" rendition from a talent show skit in high school.... yes, it's true, I dressed up as Michael for a lip sync... it was cool... I think... At least it was memorable because I had a few people mention that they remember me doing that in high school. Trust me though, I didn't do justice to it at age 38 the way I did when I was 17.

I dove out of my comfort level and went and talked to people and realized how many people lived in my same city or close by, yet I've never seen them.

After the great reunion we had I actually want to have a big barbecue at my house and have fellow classmates and their families to our home. It was that great to connect with so many once again.

There were some people I didn't get a chance to or was too scared to take the chance to talk to and I do regret that. I hope any of the ones I wanted to talk to and didn't had just as great a time as I did.

It's awesome how much we've all grown up, our life-changing experiences and our successes and failures. Life changes you. Not that high school isn't "life," it's just a whole different kind of life. I'm just glad I got through it mostly unscathed.

So this is my heart put out there on the page for judgement, praise or a passing glance, but I wanted to be honest about my fears and still being able to see the good in the experience and to realize how blessed I am to have known such a wonderful group of people—genuinely good and decent people that I shared many years of my youth with. I hope some one out there reads this and gains the courage to attend their 20-year high school reunion.

My biggest laugh of the night was the fact that I had to run to Walmart for diapers after the reunion (not for me, for Baby... I'm 38, not 88!). There were a lot of people pausing and looking at me. I was on such a high that I just figured I was looking young and full of energy after such a great reunion... nope, they were trying to catch a glimpse of my name tag! Ha! I seem to have a record of forgetting to remove my name tags!

If I am the reason any of my classmates didn't attend our reunion, I want to say, sincerely, that I am sorry. I hope I was never the cause of anyones awkward moments or heartache. I truly hope that at the next reunion we can have even more people there so they can see, just like I did, what great people we had to opportunity to go to school with.

My UP was realizing that age and maturity really are a good thing and not as bad as I pictured it to be when I was only 17.

Day 214 of 365 Days of Up

4 remarks:

Jones' Adventures said...

Ahh Rachel, I am shocked that you of all people were nervous!! I have very fond memories of you in High School and I always thought you were friendly and always made everyone feel included. It is sad how we have warped ideas of what others think of us. I for one think you are just as awesome as you were in High School and was excited to see you!
Love Misty

Rachael said...

Thanks, Misty, you are kind. It is interesting to get into people's heads and see how they feel... I'm more nervous about a lot of things than I let on ;)

Remi said...

Well, it's absolutely true that I wouldn't peg you as nervous. I'm beginning to realize I didn't pay attention to a lot of things in high school, but my memories of you are always ones of a joyous person who was kind to others and inclusive. So even though you may see your actions as a weakness, they certainly blessed others. I know I certainly felt welcomed by you at the reunion and it was helpful to, weaknesses becoming strengths and all that :-). I for one think you are an amazing woman.

Rachael said...

Thank you Remi! Very sweet. I am thankful that some how my awkward demeanor can be a blessing to some. I try me best to be kind to everyone.