I will be attending my 20th high school reunion next month. Reunions, the stress-inducing occasions that they are, can evoke all of a person's high school insecurities, along with feelings of not having enough to show for your twenty years since high school.
In hopes of avoiding those feelings, I'm going to confess that now:
1. I do not look like I did in high school.
I realize that some of you, the women of our class, look fabulous and better than you did in high school, and I am insanely jealous of you. I, however, no longer wear a size 2. I am now the size of the average American woman along with the curves to prove it. As much I would like to drop ten pounds in the next month, I truly doubt that it will happen. I love to eat, but am not particularly passionate about exercise. My curly, blond hair does look similar to how it did in high school. Except now, I have my gray strands masked with a blond rinse which is applied regularly by my hairdresser.
2. I still live in the same area.
Yes, I know, throughout high school I vehemently complained about this area and swore I'd never return. Life and maturity have a way of making us eat our words, though. After college, I accepted a job nearby, and since my husband and I are both from the area we ended up settling here. I even taught at our old middle school and my former elementary school for several years. I do have to admit, though, that the area is a great place to raise kids, and I wouldn't trade my children's relationship with my parents, who live nearby, for anything. Family trumps adventure every time.
3. I am a domestic goddess.
I constantly surprise myself with my level of domesticity, especially since my high school plans involved a jet-setting career devoid of a husband and children. In one of those if-you-want-to-make-God-laugh-tell-him-your-plans moments, I voluntarily and very happily gave up a career to home school my children. I enjoy cooking and love baking bread and sweets. My schedule revolves around my children's activities and appointments. While I am not crafty, I would like to learn how to sew and knit.
4. I have not made any great discoveries or achieved any amazing accomplishments.
I hate to disappoint you, but I will probably not be able to regale you with exciting stories of jet-setting around the globe or struggling up the career ladder. I can fill you in on my first post-college job as a retail buyer when I traveled to Las Vegas several times a year or tell you about my life as an elementary school teacher. I can also discuss home school curriculum with you and tell you about our family's journey to homeschooling. Unless you would like to hear about the raccoon, opossum, and neighbor's cat which he have inadvertantly trapped in recent weeks, I will most likely not be the most scintillating conversationalist. In all honesty, my high school reunion will be a more relaxing affair than my college reunion. If you want to feel like an under-achiever, attend a Duke reunion without having a Masters, M.D., Ph.D. M.B.A., or law degree.
5. I am still a nerd.
Some things never change. Yes, I am still a nerd. I frequently prefer books to people. I work part-time from home as a freelance writer of literature guides, curriculum, and test preparation materials. I am better at discussing ideas than telling a joke and prefer sending an e-mail to talking on the phone. I will most likely not work the room and chat with everyone at the reunion- not because I am stuck-up or don't care to talk to you, but because I am painfully shy and never quite know what to say when engaging in small talk.
6. I am content.
If someone had told me in high school that I would be a full-time mom and live in the same area, I would have thought that my life had careened horribly off the tracks somewhere along the way. But that didn't happen, I never would have thought that I could be so content doing the work of raising children, that some people find to be so inconsequential. Apparently, God knew what I needed and brought together all the pieces of my life- husband, career choices, children- to place me where I am today.
Believe it or not, I am actually looking forward to the reunion. I frequently see and keep in touch with several members of our high school class, and Facebook has certainly helped forge reconnections with many others of you. I am thankful that the barriers which divided us in high school are melting away and will, hopefully, be replaced by more adult-like acceptance and compassion. I do think that will occur. Adult responsiblities and maturity having a way of putting our lives into perspective.
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