Thursday, June 23, 2011

The One on the Eve of my High School Reunion

Twenty years, people. That's how long it's been since I graduated high school. It feels just like it was yesterday and light years ago at the same time.

I had a great time in high school. I grew up in a small town in Oregon, and there were only 60 of us in my graduating class (in the one and only public high school in town). You can imagine there wasn't much competition for extra curricular activities with that size student body, so I got to be involved in just about anything I wanted. I was on the volleyball team, on the cheerleading squad (don't judge), in the drama club, in both choir and band, in student government (student body president my senior year - oh yes I was), and I even played on the golf team for a year. I tried anything and everything that sounded interesting or fun, and I often, if not usually, succeeded (there was a reason I didn't play on the golf team a second year).

Since then, Life has thrown me a few curve balls, and sometimes I have a hard time finding the fearless and outgoing girl I used to be in my current, adult self. Occasionally, I fear she's just up and gone, leaving me inside the shell of a 37-year-old self-doubting pessimist. When I get to my reunion tomorrow, I wonder if the only thing my classmates will notice is that I've gained weight and lost confidence.

But lately, I've seen glimpses of my former self. Though I still sometimes wrestle with the selfishness of our decision not to have any more children, that was really the springboard for me to embrace the search for, well, me. The past few months has seen me become healthier and lighter, and while my writing career hasn't quite taken off yet, it's racing down the runway.

The person I'm becoming resembles the girl I used to be, but she's less naive and I'd like to think a bit wiser. Though I'm a good 20 pounds heavier than I was in high school, I'm going to walk into my reunion tomorrow hoping people recognize the old me - the girl with enthusiasm and wit, the girl who welcomed a challenge.

And I hope when I get back home I'll remain up for any challenge, because like I said, I've still got that 20 pounds to lose.

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