It's been 10 years since I and the rest of my LC Bird high school class of 2005 have graduated. 10 years. When you're 28, 10 years definitely feels like a long time. I mean, that's over 1/3 of my life ago. And yet, when my friends and I walked into our high school cafeteria where the tables were the same, the art on the walls was the same, and we were surrounded by the same faces we used to be... it really felt like yesterday. It was the oddest sensation.
I guess people don't physically change that much from 18 to 28. But we all kept greeting each other saying "wow, you look exactly the same!" and I think that was meant to be a compliment... or at least the vocalization of this crazy deja vu dream we all felt like we were walking through. I kept waiting for all the people who weren't attending to show up because it just felt like they should be in that cafeteria, like all THESE people must have been here the entire time and it just took me 10 years to come back and say hello.
What was amazing was to see the fruition of everyone's priorities. In high school, everyone has the same goal really... graduate. But after high school, everyone's lives split off. Some people travel the world. Some people get married and start having children. Some people join the military. Some people go to college and work in their chosen careers. Some people start businesses because their careers turn out to be miserable ;) But everyone chooses something and our group of old friends had never seemed more diverse.
The reunion was a two parter. Friday night we visited the school, had a BBQ dinner, and watched the football game. Honestly, dinner was a little weird because I no longer knew who to talk to other than the people I've maintained a friendship with anyway. Luckily, I have some more extroverted friends who navigate those waters better than I do. A few of us snuck away to the music hall where we'd spent so much of our time in marching band and orchestra and even eating lunch in the hallway. That music hall was ours for a short time and it was eerie to see our pictures still up on the wall. It was also sad to see the marching band had shrunk from our mighty 200 people to maybe 60? Our colorguard from over 30 down to 8. It doesn't take long for things to change drastically that's for sure. But we still cheered on our old band at half time. We would have cheered on the football team, too, but they clearly don't need it. I think the score was 52 to 0 when we left at half time? Football priorities have certainly NOT changed.
Saturday, we all met at the Tobacco Company for a slightly more formal affair. I brought Erik with me for that because I need to show off my brilliant giant ginger. I don't think we had any of those in high school. It's a rare breed. And that was fun. There were a few people there who hadn't been at the game Friday night and it was good to see them.
I think when people dread their reunions, it's because they don't want to do the life achievement comparisons. They don't want to gauge their own successes off anyone else's or feel judged for the life choices they've made. And I completely understand that. Nobody wants that. But I didn't feel that as much as I expected to... when I talked to people about what they'd been doing for the past 10 years, it was out of genuine curiosity and I usually got the impression that they were doing the same.
That's not to say that everything changes when you leave high school and everyone's suddenly kind and caring. Nope haha. I and many other people noticed how some people hadn't seemed to change at all, and it wasn't a compliment this time. Sometimes bygones are never bygones and people don't want to reconnect, even for a night. It was fascinating to see and a little sad, but sad for those people now instead of the other way around. It's easy to see now who is truly missing out. There's nothing like leaving something to give you a little more perspective on it. And honestly, I think I always had a healthy dose of perception. I mean, look at my friends from then and now... they're kind of exactly the same people... I made good choices then and now ;)
A post about high school wouldn't be complete without some embarrassing high school photos, but honestly it is just impossible to find many! What I did find was such horrible quality, I don't even feel right posting them. Cameras have really grown in quality in the past 10 years! And back in MY day selfies were for Myspace, nothing more!
So that's as good as you get... I mean, we really don't look THAT different. But that's us 10 years ago on our graduation beach trip. Huzzah! Here's to another 10 years of keeping all the same friends who I really love ;)