Recently I found myself summarizing my high school experience by saying “if I went to my reunion no one would know who I was.” The person I was talking to didn’t skip a beat before asking me if I was substantially different in high school and that’s when I realized that, aside from the long blonde hair and braces that I shed from my past, I haven’t changed at all. It’s interesting to me that I don’t spend my day at work being bullied by colleagues or looked down upon by some subset of people who believe they have the right to do so because they’ve formed some ridiculous click of friends.
It’s funny that eleven years later I still stand strong in my views and ways and it has made me socially accepted into the business world versus being stuffed into a locker. Last year was my ten-year high school reunion and I didn’t hesitate in my decision to not go to it. While most gals freaked out about trying to crash diet before going seeing their old classmates, I knew I was still sporting the same trim physique that I walked around with in high school and had no desire to see the people who made my high school experience so miserable a decade earlier.
In retrospect, I was curious to see what ever happened to all those popular students who felt they could look down on me. Secretly I think that most geeks hope the popular kids will show up to reunions the size of a whale with some sob story about how they’ve lost everything and have had a miserable adult life. However, I am just curious if they ever made anything out of their lives or if they have the same mentality they lived each day with in high school.
Maybe when my twenty year reunion rolls around I’ll consider going just so I can watch people play the “who’s that?” game. It’s funny how a hair color change and a braces removal can change the male population’s opinion on a gal. Sometimes I wonder if those gals who refused to give me the time of day back in high school would accept me as one of their own now. I would bet that they would, but the inner outcast in me doesn’t care to find out. If they couldn’t find it in their heart to treat me equally back in the day then that was their loss.
I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished since graduation and the person I am today. I’ve been through a lot and learned even more. I’ve gained the confidence to stand up for what’s right and the intelligence to back up what comes out of my mouth. While I keep pushing forward in my pursuits of new opportunities, I’m taking the time to look back on my past today and smile about my persistence to just keep going. To all those other high school outcasts out there, keep your head up because in the end you’ll come out higher than those who are trying to push you down now. In this instance, the grass is actually greener on the other side.