High school sucked. For reasons that had very little to do with high school itself – it was dreadful for me. Literally the morning after I graduated I got in my car (1986 chevy caprice classic, that was already tightly packed) and hightailed it out of there. I never looked back – I went west, and then I went further west and I made a new life for myself and tried agonizingly hard to forget where I came from and who I had been. It seemed perfect that I could reinvent myself – as long as I never ran into anyone from my previous life. And it worked, well it worked until one fateful day two winters ago, when, bored at work, I decided to join facebook.
My goal in the beginning was only to friend those I had met post high school and current acquaintances, but then I started getting friend requests from people in my graduating class… Casual connections at first. Then it dawned on me that there were people I really wanted to get in touch with – and we started talking and it was great to see what direction their lives had taken and to see pictures of their families, they had families these same girls who I used to have sleepovers with.
This summer I was finally able to see them in person. For the first time in 18 years I drove into my old hometown (with my daughter in tow) and sat down with my friends and their families like no time had passed. And it was wonderful, it was wonderful not to have to explain to anyone where I came from and my background – these girls (women!) knew me, they knew me like no one else I have met since could and we talked and laughed and drank a lot of wine and let our kids play together and it made me sad that I had wasted all that time trying to be someone else when all I really needed was people who really knew me.
I don’t regret the decisions I’ve made – life is MUCH too short for that – and I have had some amazing experiences that would never have happened if I hadn’t gone the way I did. But I have to say that its great now realizing that High school/junior high even elementary school wasn’t all bad – sure my circumstances were not what I wanted but we had fun, we had a lot of fun and it’s nice to be able to look back and remember those times now.
Of course now my only wish is that I lived closer so I could be a part of their lives, and they could be a part of mine, but does geography really matter? They are already a part of my life, a missing part that’s good to have whole again.