I HATED high school. I suffered from manic depression caused by a thyroid disorder. It wasn’t till my junior year that I was diagnosed and was able to get my life under control. I felt better; I had confidence. I cut my hair short and (Spoiler!) dyed it red. I started dressing in clothing that flattered my body, and I started to smile. I remember having lots of fun with my closest friends but not enjoying the times when we were separated. I was a Teenybopper in high school and was in love with the wrong guy. I was always picked on because I was both smart and socially awkward. I, like every teenager, have just gotten better with age.
So as my ten year reunion was coming up, I was in turns both excited and dreading the event. It was $40 dollars in downtownMontgomeryto see people that made fun of me and didn’t appreciate me growing up. I was already told that my best friend wasn’t going (I was so sad; no Romy and Michele moments for us!), and many of the people I was looking forward tot seeing weren’t going. But I planned on going anyway. Then I had to buy a new car. The down payment and insurance killed me finically, and I accidentally missed the due date for the money. I wasn’t going; that was the end of that. God had spoken.
A few weeks later, I receive an e-mail saying everything had changed. It would be $25 and was now at Quail Walk in Wetumpka. The price was reasonable and the venue only five minutes away from my house. It seems God meant to go. I got excited. I looked through pictures. I made a play list of the high school songs. I bought a hot new shirt and amazing shoes. I was ready.
Then the Friday before rolled around, and suddenly, I was less excited. Then on Saturday, I didn’t want to go. The Dread Beast had returned. My mom and dad told me I would have fun; I would regret not going. They seemed to forget, that unlike them, I was not popular in high school. But I got dressed and got ready to go. The first hurdle? The security device was still attached to my hot new shirt. I was twenty minutes late just because I was trying to get it off. An omen?
Enter a confident me, in my faux-leather biker style jacket, and banging atypical bob. The Mean Girls were the first to great me and then ignore me. A few other people I knew were a little nicer. One girl told me she loved my hair. I accepted the compliment with pleasure. Then…nothing. There was no one I was really close to and nothing was happening. I got a drink at the bar and sat for a few minutes but then got proactive to talk to a group of people I was rather fond of growing up. I called one of them by the wrong name. Great, now everyone was laughing at me again.
After that group dispersed, I dropped of my play list of great high school music and hung with a group that I had hung out with some at high school. I was unsure if they truly liked me, but they talked to me and let me be part of the group. We talked, we dance. We had a great time. Once again I was over thinking how people thought of me. It seems that my reaction to the judgmental side of high school never leaves.
After about four songs, the DJ switched t karaoke version of old country songs and then peppered in booty shaking songs during their breaks. My high school music blast from the past was not meant to be. I didn’t let this stop me from getting up and dancing and having a good time. In the middle of this, one girl, who I was not particularly fond of, made the declaration, “I vote you the most changed!” Nom, dear readers, I really, really wanted to hit this girl. I know I have changed and changed for the better, but I have always been cool and fun. The fact that they did not see this in high school is their fault, not mine.
I bit it all back and danced some more, knowing that people were talking about me in a good way. They were finally seeing how awesome I was. There wasn’t a big moment where I told off the mean girls or people apologized for treating me cruelly. Someone even said how “brave” it was for me to come alone. But there was some vindication for me. It’s not my fault I am only one of two people who still wear single digit jeans.;-)
All in all the night was rather lame. Hanging around people who never really liked you and you never really liked isn’t the most exciting thing. But as people headed home to their kids, I knew that this was something out of the ordinary for them. They weren’t like me. They didn’t have a big group of friends that they went out with. So what if I wasn’t married like I wanted to be? I have a group of friends who are awesome and a job that impressed people. I should be grateful for my gifts.
I am ashamed that I still worry about what these people think, because it truly doesn’t matter. I have surrounded myself with those who appreciate and love me. I have the love of Jesus on my side. What more do I need?
To love myself. And most days I do. I just need to re-cement those broken pieces sometimes. With my girls and God, I have that under control.
Have a Romy and Michele day!