Friday, March 22, 2013

To Reunion or Not

This past summer, I attended my 20 year class reunion.  It was our first since graduation in 1992.  I had quite a bit of social anxiety about it.  High school wasn't the easiest for me, I wasn't a jock, I wasn't a nerd, I wasn't social or popular...I was just me.  At the time, being me wasn't nearly enough, or at least I thought it wasn't.

I played sports (softball and basketball) but didn't excel in either.  I got decent grades but didn't excel there either.  My sister was a freshman when I was a senior and infinitely more popular than I could ever have hoped to have been.  She was thinner, prettier, boyfriends, athletic, etc...  I just didn't feel a sense of belonging.

I was bullied quite a bit.  Looking back now, I wish I would've told my parents more of what went on.  They knew certain events and whatnot, but not all of it.  Being a parent now, I hope my sons will come to me if anything similar ever happens to them so I can give them the chance to let someone stick up for them, have their back.  I didn't always give my parents that chance.  I didn't give any friends the chance either.  I assumed that since the bullies were more popular, their "side" would be believed.  Hindsight and all that.

When the invitation for the reunion came in the mail, I had a sit down talk with my husband about going.  I didn't want to go/not go for the wrong reasons.  He convinced me that I not only needed the closure for that part of my life but to also convince myself that I'm NOT that person anymore, that it's ok to be proud of yourself and your accomplishment and namely, that who I am now was always inside me.  I had the insane worry that being around any of those bullies would cause me to revert back to that high school persona.

I was nervous up to the moment of walking in the door where the reunion was held.  I stood in front of that door with my husband's hand on the small of my back and realized that 1) again, I wasn't giving any of those I may have considered a friend back then a chance.  I was assuming what the reunion was going to be. 2)  I wasn't giving MYSELF a chance.  I WASN'T who I used to be.  I'm someone I'm proud of. 3) There was going to be beer!  4) My favorite teacher, who also happened to be my cousin, was going to be there.

I'm glad I went.  If nothing else, it reminded me how lucky I am.  I have an amazing family and life.  I may not have had many boyfriends in school but I'm still married to the love of my life (and consequently it's been my only marriage).  I've helped people and families, I serve those less fortunate.  The friends I have now I may not see very often (looking at you Pontiac girls) but I know they love me and will be there for me when I need them.  My parents are still young enough to be an active force in mine and my children's lives.  I'm pretty damn lucky.

Pretty sure I'll be going to the next one.

xo Dawny Wendy

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