Last night was the Wayne High School, Class of 1988 reunion – my 25 year reunion.
Due to timing and circumstance, I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to go, but after encouragement and support from my wife, I decided to make the road trip and go.
I was able to see some “old” friends and had catch up. It was fun to see how the years have changed some more than others – and as we all had name tags with our yearbook pictures on them, it made it easy to go back to that place and see those people and make the connection.
For me, the reunion and that look back at the past was bitter sweet. I have many fond memories of my high school experience: going to the Semi-State Championship in football, being a cheerleader, my amazing study group, some awesome teachers who gave me a passion for literature, and many, many more. As easy as it was to go back and access those memories, it was also equally as easy to go back and feel some of parts of high school that were especially difficult for me.
I have no doubt that I was not the only one who was uncomfortable in my own skin, and felt insecure and inadequate during that time of my life. We all were trying to find our place in the world, all while dealing with the hormones and life lessons of growing into adulthood.
Over the last several years, I have been keenly aware of how significant those feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and codependency have impacted my life and my relationships with those most important to me. I am so grateful for the journey I have taken to get to this point, because I am now able to see those relationships for what they were and still are. I had some great friends in high school who were such a big part of my life. Back then I wasn’t always secure in that fact, and really questioned whether or not I was good enough for any of them.
Were it not for the journey and recovery of the last few years, I would not have been able to experience the joy that I did last night in seeing those old friends, sharing some great memories, and learning about their lives today. And to hear from some that I had a positive impact on their high school experience, is icing on the cake. It is a mixed feeling of regret for not getting to this point earlier in life when I could have cherished those friendships all the more, but incredibly joyful and grateful for where I am to share it and experience it now.
I would have loved to have been able to spend more time with everyone as there was several folks I wasn’t able to chat with at all. Hopefully it won’t take another reunion to bring us together again soon.