My 20 year high school reunion was this past weekend. I’m still in a perplexed mood about the whole thing. The word that comes to mind? Surreal.
I graduated in a class of nearly 600 people. What makes this complicated is that the district was in the process of dealing with declining enrollment. We had two high schools and my senior year is when we combined into one. For my junior year, we were the East campus and West campus. So the 500+ of us only had one year where we were all in the same building together.
We had about 250 at the reunion. I’d say that was a pretty good turnout. Some people looked the same. Some were really different. I should have expected this. But the same people hang out together that did 20 years ago. Everyone seemed to settle right back into their old clique. I did talk to a lot of people, but I didn’t have the kind of interactions I was hoping for.
The thing that bothers me is that in the last 20 years, I’ve changed. I’m not the shy girl that they all remember. In any other situation I’d be completely fine with going up and talking to complete strangers and having some interesting conversations. In fact, I’m pretty good at talking to strangers. I’ve had lots of practice. And what did I do last night? I reverted back to my high school self. I’m kind of mad at myself for letting it happen. There are people I should have tried to talk to. After all, these things are for you to talk to people that you normally don’t.
When I think about it, I wonder if I got caught up in the fact that I don’t fit the mold. Don’t get me wrong. It is a good thing that I don’t. But in the midst of people taking out their photos of their kids and talking about their spouses, you wonder how interested they are when you don’t have that in common. I typically said that I’m a high school math teacher and told them where I teach. That usually gets some questions and a few comments. I live in the area and I say I travel quite a bit and that sometimes generates a bit more conversation. And the conversation either continues or you move on…
There’s one guy that I talked to that I know from college. That was a completely different conversation. He knows the 38 year old me – not the 18 year old me. We had roommates in common that married each other, so it was fun to hear that he had seen them earlier in the day. I was so much more comfortable talking with him.
I did have a good time. I’m just kind of disappointed in myself for not putting myself “out there” to talk to more people.