Friday, June 5, 2009

Twenty Years? Impossible but true ..

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?


PW said...

Well, I guess I'm past my 20th high school reunion. Didn't go. Was out of state. In fact I moved two weeks before my senior year in high school, so the high school I graduated from wasn't the one where I had all my childhood friends. Anyways, try and just be yourself at the event. Everyone there will be trying to put on a mask and look/appear better than they really are (boasting rights) be 'in' again with all the important people. Just be your sweet honest self and you'll enjoy the day. Let Christ shine through and He will bring people across your path that day that need a word of encouragement, etc, that only you can provide.

Pattie said...

OK...I DID go to my 20 yr. reunion and it was amazing to me. I went alone because Chaplain Hubby was in Iraq at the time. The partiers hung out by the bar, and the "others" visited in the other room. We had fun showing off pictures of our kids, catching up on where we'd been, and most amazing of all, God led me to talk to three of my classmates who had become Christians AS ADULTS. Two of them were even ministering in their local churches! And one guy who was always sort of mean to me, when I jokingly confronted him about it, apologized and then told me that one thing he appreciated about me was that I was the same at church as I was at school. It was incredibly affirming to me and my self-esteem that someone noticed. (Even if it was bratty Bryan!)