It is done. High school reunion attended. It was a highly unnerving, awkward and fun experience. The big question is: How is everyone? Better? Worse?
The answer....better, happier, grown. Everyone is much more comfortable in their skin. Whatever has happened -- illness, promotion, death, birth, divorce, coupling, blah blah -- you're still not in the hormone hell that is high school. However it looks, you have a life and its yours.
But back to the awkward part. I was sweating like a madwoman immediately upon entering. Full blown social anxiety, terrified of embarrassing myself or someone else. I should note that I'm bad with names....and faces....and I don't really think about high school ever because it wasn't a high light of my life (that would be college). So I probably left sweaty hand-prints on the first few people I hugged.
Fortunately for me, one of my friends had the genius idea of getting a bunch of us together beforehand for dinner and drinks to ease us into the process. This meant we had a group to walk in with and retreat to when the meet-and-greet wasn't going so well or we were just exhausted from that level of remembering and socializing. The buffer was wonderful. It gave me a comfort level to pull anyone who did the "hover nearby" move and start conversations, regardless if we knew each other back in the day.
One of my favorite "new" classmates told me he didn't know anyone who didn't play baseball or football because he was tremendously shy in high school and was basically raising himself. All his energy went into finding a way to get through school. He came to the reunion anyway because "shyness never got him anywhere in the past". He had outgrown it so why let it keep him from the reunion? I loved that. You can't change the past, but you can be proud of who you were and who you are. As far as I'm concerned, that's a big accomplishment.
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