In about two hours I should be about ready to take off for my 20th high school reunion. Yup. Twenty years since I graduated from high school and ran as fast I as could to college. Do the math.
It has been fun reconnecting with folks I haven’t seen in years via Facebook – some were at my wedding, but most of them dropped off my radar as diapers gave way to time-outs and then spelling lists. We have tried to do brief recaps of the last 20 years – school, jobs, marriage, careers, children with a few photos. I can’t wait to find out how a drama crowd acquaintance became a pastor. I can’t wait to see my grade-school best friend and find out what she’s been up to.
But the build up to this has been 20 years in the making because high school was quite an experience. I don’t know about you, but there are huge chunks of time that make me cringe, and not just because my hair was big or my glasses were even bigger. No, high school was four years of AWKWARD mixed in with moments of self-assurance and confidence, a huge dose of teenage angst and a dash of “no you didn’t”. I had a close group of friends, but we all had different interests. I was on the school newspaper, speech team, student council and pom-pom squad. I learned the art of toilet papering, and experienced the horror of having someone screaming nasty things while throw rocks through our windows. I learned how I could be simultaneously incredibly smart and stupid. I learned a little about a lot of things – photography, music, dance, physics, American history and trigonometry. I learned a lot about a few things – trust, image, cliques and the power of words.
I wasn’t ready to go to the 10th reunion. It felt too soon. Years ago a friend from church was so excited about his reunion. He was a popular football player, and he couldn’t wait to tell people about what God had been up to in his life. I remember sitting there thinking that as a “never popular newspaper geek” I wouldn’t know what to tell people.
So another 10 years later, and it feels right. I needed 20 years to allow God to chisel away at my judgmental tendencies and bring out much more grace and graciousness. I needed 20 years to live a bit more of the life I fantasized about and have reality soften the rough edges and give me a reality check. I needed more time to see how lessons learned about the power of words would run its course. And I needed more time to leave behind the restlessness of high school and sit in my own imperfect, beautiful skin.
But there is a little bit of high school still in me…I just did my nails, and I’m wondering what to wear that is “party casual”.
I ran into some new friends in town earlier today, and they all said the same thing:
“Have a great time tonight! And good luck!”
Peter isn’t coming. When I was in high school he was finishing dental school. Going that far back in our uncrossed paths gets a little creepy, don’t you think?
Wish me luck!