I have been sitting on this post for a few months now. I don’t know why I didn’t publish it, I think it felt a little like a diary entry. But since it was an important event in my life I decided to finally put it out there for the world to read.
This past weekend I attended my 10 year high school reunion and I am still in shock that it has finally arrived and passed. I have thought about this day as much as I did about my wedding. Where would I be in life, how would people see me, would I meet expectations, how would everyone else turn out?
The truth is I didn’t want to go. The truth is my good friend (Kristin) was borderline planning a felony vacation which included kidnapping me and forcing me (probably with some kind of weapon) to walk through the double doors. So during a semi-drunken dinner conversation a few months before the reunion, Kristin convinced me that this is something I needed to do to come to terms with some feelings I have had since high school. And I agreed drunkenly. During the following weeks, after my agreement, I volunteered to do some stuff for the reunion to make sure that I would keep my promise to Kristin.
Well here I am 48 hours past the reunion, and in all honesty, I am happy that Kristin twisted my arm, begged, pleaded, and mind tricked me into going. In the end I had fun. Actually, I had the most amazing time. Yes I was nervous… beyond nervous.
As we approached the country club, I leaned over and told Kristin that I would like to take back our agreement and go home. She laughed at me. I was serious. Dead serious. I had a pit in my stomach. I wasn’t ready to face all my classmates again. I don’t know why… I just wasn’t.
As we walked in, I was a deer in headlights. This was it, ready or not I had traveled 1,000′s of miles to be here. Instead of jumping in head first and going around and greeting everyone I headed right to the bar and started a tab. I needed a drink to calm my nerves. Actually make that three. The funny thing about it is I don’t drink (except for the rare dinner get together), seriously…. I don’t.
By the time I had my third drink, I hear our class president announce that it’s time to play my video and I was going to introduce it. I knew I shouldn’t have had those drinks. Now my worst nightmare was coming true. Here I am about to stand in front of my whole (partial) high school class drunk off my ass about to give a short speech. Thankfully, I was sitting next to Tom who has always had a way of calming my nerves. He made me laugh and before I knew it I was standing in front of everyone admitting to being drunk. Besides that, I actually don’t recall much of what I said… probably for the best.
As the night went on, my nerves started to subside. I felt an awkward sense of normalcy, almost like old times. I felt myself smile and laugh. No longer was I worried about what everyone thought. I just wanted to have fun and reconnect with classmates that I hadn’t talked to in years. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to talk to everyone. But there is always Facebook right
The night was full of dancing, drinking, laughing, crying, hugs, etc. At the end of it all, Kristin and I decided to head out to the bar to meet everyone for some more drinks. Between horrible karaoke, cheap drinks, and long chats I really didn’t want the night to end. I do recall admitting some pretty embarrassing things to some people. Which, unfortunately, they did recall the following day. There was also some pretty serious bar drama that was caused by some heavy drinking. Some words were thrown out on the table by one person that I refuse to carry with me for another 10 years. So I forgave on the spot.
The weekend ended with awesome memories and reconnections that I never imagined.
What I learned from the whole experience was (1) take chances because you can be pleasantly surprised (2) own your life and what you have accomplished (3) another 10 years just might be too long.