My 20th high school reunion is coming up. Quickly ... like 3 weeks from today. To be honest, I do not feel old enough to have been out of high school for 20 years. And I am certain I don't look old enough. (Feel free to give comments supporting that last thought in my comments section!)
I have such mixed emotions about this event. While I am excited to see friends from that period of my life, many of whom I have not seen since we graduated, I am also a bit nervous. Looking back on those years, I remember a girl who was very insecure and often downright mean. She was selfish and could be very manipulative and calculating. She had friends and was in lots of different activities ... but for some reason, she always felt on the outside but desperate to be "in."
So, now I sit here wondering if those events which are indelibly etched in my memory - words I wish I had never said, actions I cringe to recall - are still as real to those who were hurt or impacted by my words and deeds.
A month or so ago I was reconnecting with a former roommate from college on Facebook and made the comment that I felt I owe a blanket apology to all who knew me between the ages of 16 and 23. My kind friend said that most everyone, if they were honest, had a period of life like that and the people who matter most are the ones who will allow you grow through those times and love you just the same.
I suppose preparing for this reunion has been good ... I know I've been more focused on my health (well, my weight anyway! LOL). And the introspection has also been cleansing for me. Realizing who I was is not who I am required to be today is such a relief! I've thought about the lessons I learned in my life and the person I would like for others to see. I realize the past is what shapes us and our response to weak areas in our lives is what leads to change. So, I've given myself a healthy dose of "If only I had..." and decided that, while there are some things I would change if I could, there is nothing I would do differently if it meant I would not have the life I have now.
Life is not about the end ... it's the journey that counts. The people we meet, the places we go, the lives we touch. And my journey has had some rough spots - some because life is just hard and some because I'm a stubborn girl who wants to do it my way - but the vistas I have seen on my journey make the valleys seem small.
So, I'm still going to try to lose that last five pounds and I'm praying that I will have the opportunity to make amends with a few people. But most of all, I am committed to enjoying the journey!
What lessons have you learned along life's journey?
Anything you wish you could "do over"? Why?