10 lessons I learned from my 10 year reunion.

Name tags for days. 

Last weekend I had my high school reunion. I know, the whole thing snuck up on me pretty fast...too fast for me to get fake boobs or rent a really expensive car, so I begrudgingly did as all rational thinking women do, and cut my hair into a pixie.

  Because that's what you do when you go back to your old stomping grounds, you try to fit in and hide your insecurities behind a life change, and since having a baby wasn't enough of a life change, you chop your hair. 

So this reunion had been brewing in my mind as an awkward experience just dying to break free. I mean, these things are awkward as it is, but I had some baggage from high school (and part of college) that I had yet to address, so needless to say my anxiety level was clocking in at about 11 (on a scale of 1 to 10). Also the whole not being a millionaire-or even remotely successful financially thing was also weighing pretty heavy as well. The cherry on top however,  was that we didn't want to burden family with watching our two crazy boys and newborn (who happened to hit her witching hour at the same time as this event) so the hubs decided to stay back and do the dad thing, while I braved the memory lane all on my lonesome.

Because I'm a "strong" woman and all that.

All jokes aside though, I had a wonderful time, and it got me thinking about things I wish I knew 10 years ago that I know now. Almost like a reverse Tim Mcgraw "my next thirty years" type thing, but in reference to my late teens. So here we go.

10 lessons I learned from my 10 year reunion. 

1. Enjoy the ride.
Ten years ago I was so worried about my future. So worried about getting great grades, going to  college and trying to be involved in everything, Now as a stay at home mom, I would love to get to do anything without worrying about my kids. Even in the rare event that they aren't attached (figuritivly or literally) to me, I still worry. It's very hard to enjoy anything the way that you do when you are carefree and living on your parents dollar.

2. Live a Little. 
Back in high school I was very cautious, afraid to get into trouble, afraid to let down my parents, and I was afraid to do anything to accidentally ruin my future (see number 1). I never drank and I hung out with a crowd that really didn't either. I never broke my curfew and I always tried to do things that were pleasing to others. A big part of me wishes that I would have just done something for me. I was always afraid of hurting someone else's feelings. I didn't take that extra dance class because I didn't want to hurt my current dance teachers' feelings. I didn't take a drink of that room temperature vodka in a water bottle because I was afraid to get caught and let everyone down. Okay, that was a bad example. Who really was ever dying to drink room temperature vodka? But you get the idea. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way advocating for underage drinking, however I do wish I would have been more "footloose and fancy free" and not so judgmental to those who did choose to party. 

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. 
This one is a tough one for high school girls. Especially high school girls who grew up in the 2000's watching Laguna Beach reruns and actually living the ups and downs of Kristin and Stephen's relationship. Everything is #sodramatic at that age. I don't know if it was because all the girls were having their periods at the same time, or what, but I can remember something so small becoming such a huge deal quickly, and with the new technologies of the time (AIM) it only took one poorly worded away message to ruin your day.

4. Flaunt it.
As the mother of a daughter now, I'll never say this out loud to her (because eye contact is so awkward), but  most people's bodies will never look as great as they did in high school. I for one, wish that I had known this and actually worn that cute dress without a bra,or those oh so trendy crop top halters with confidence. How was I supposed to know that everything would sag and bag? I mean, I'm at the point now that I use dusting powder under my boobs for crying out loud!  I didn't even know there was a space for that, let alone a need back in high school. 

5. Spend your time with those who really deserve it. 
I don't have any regrets in my life per say, but now that I am older and my friend time is extremely limited, I wish I would have skipped out on some of the lame dates, had more girls nights and spent more time with those who actually love me, and not just those who can tolerate me. In high school, quantity seemed to trump quality in friendships, and it took me 10 years for my eyes to open, and to see who was really there for me in the thick of it all.

6. Don't judge a book by it's cover.
Those people that you think you'll never be friends with? They may have a lot more in common than you think. Or maybe they don't. Either way, you never know unless you actually be a human and talk to them. Branch out of your normal comfort level, find people who may not outwardly be like you, but may carry the same struggle, or hopes and dreams in your heart. I found out that a girl that was merely just an acquaintance in high school, is a member of one of my closest online communities. We totally get each other, and unfortunately it took us 10 years, Mark Zuckerberg and the Brittany Gibbons body love movement for us to figure that out. Who knew? Maybe we missed out on a ton of great times. ya know?

7. Go on Spring Break. 
Seriously. For crying out loud. I wish I would have gone, because after all of the "hey what have you been doing these last ten years" talk, everyone began going shot for shot, reminiscing about the good times that I had to again remind myself and them that I wasn't a part of. I've got to hand it to you, those stories have lasted the test of time. I still regret that I wasn't a part of the epic trip and I don't understand the references to the Belvedere, although I'm 99% sure that story ended in vomit. 

8. Stop trying to earn Prom/ Homecoming Queen votes.
So many times I didn't stand up for myself and loved ones because I was afraid of being labeled a "bitch" or that people wouldn't think I was nice. It's taken be about ten years and a ton of struggles with fear of confrontation, but I've finally learned to use my voice and throw my weight around when needed. I've won some, and I've lost some friends in the process, but it feels good to stand up for what you truly believe in. And you know what? I'm really not that nice, and that's totally okay.

*Also I was never even nominated for any school dance titles, so being nice never really got me anywhere anyway. 

9. Leave High School in High School. 
This one was the hardest for me to write, because I was one of "those" girls in high school with a super serious high school boyfriend that thought we would be together forever. Clearly it didn't happen that way, and we carried a relationship into the early years of college doing the whole breakup/makeup tango (totally healthy amirite), and finally calling it quits 6 years ago. I knew that almost all of our couple friends had gotten married, and in the rather messy breakup he got to keep the friends (bummer) and I was replaced (thank goodness). Now, more than ever I'm so glad that we didn't work out, as I have found my hubs and had the best three kids ever, but a big part of me wishes we would have just left it all in high school, and not dragged it out to be as messy as it really didn't need to be. In high school that drama is expected, almost coveted, like a rite of passage, and leaving that mess in '04 would have just been way easier. High school relationships should be fun and silly, and definitely not taken too seriously. That way you can totally avoid the uncomfortable feeling of your ex totally blowing you off when you say hello at the reunion. 

10. Be true to your school. 
Even if you don't want to go, GO. Even if you feel like you have nothing in common, with your former classmates. GO. I cannot stress it enough. The truth of the matter is that no one is super happy with where they are in life yet.It's a journey, and everyone is climbing the mountain, some in completely different ways, but climbing nevertheless, and taking some time to reminisce and talk about the "good old days" is a great way to reconnect and actually meet the people that you didn't get to know back in high school. And if none of that is your bag, they usually have drinks. And cake.

2004 was a great year, full of ups and downs and lots of juicy couture sweatsuits, but one thing is for sure is that 10 years goes by fast. Before you know it, it'll all be hairplugs and  Botox.

And cake.

Don't forget the cake.

Rocking the heavy eyeliner/no brow trend of 2004 so hard. 

1 comment:

    1. Your pixie is to die for, not kidding, keep it forever probably.
    2. I regret being obsessed with my high school boyfriends because, while I'm still friends with them (it just happened to work out that way) I wish I would have spent more time with my friends. I definitely built my life around these dudes and even though I was reasonably confident, I was always putting myself second to their interests and needs. At age 16. Wtf.
    3. My thing about the body stuff is that when I am down on myself now (happens sometimes) I now have the experience to know that when I'm 38 I'll think my 28 year old body was bangin' and try to channel that. Though I frequently skipped wearing a bra back then, ha.
    4. It was great to see you! I know we didn't know each other well in high school but I think you're great and hilarious. xo