Last night I had my first high school class reunion. I was terrified. I brought cupcakes to the bar because I was nervous beforehand and needed to stay busy.
It surprised me, but I ended up having a blast. The reunion gave me a chance to reconnect with some people I’d been really close to all through school, and I was able to make friends with some of the people I’d never talked with much. Old friends from bus 19, elementary school classmates, the kids to who moved to town late in the game.
Plus, my partner and I won the CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP, which I am overly excited about.
But the time leading up to this shindig taught me a lot about memory, empathy and friendship. Just because my classmates and I shared many of the same experiences over 13 years, doesn’t mean they shaped us in the same way. Some people left school feeling hurt. Others left feeling unimportant. And others left feeling awesome.
This was an unnerving realization for me. Suddenly, I couldn’t remember how some of those school relationships operated. In school I felt like Jessie Spano: focused on school and activities but generally friendly to everyone. But to someone else, maybe I seemed more like a Regina George or Kat from “Ten Things I Hate About You.” My guess is that most of us were Hillary Duff from “A Cinderella Story.” We felt really self-conscious and loser-ish, but in general we were normal looking people with interests and hobbies and personalities.
Because our memories are our own, there’s no disproving them. Moving forward, we can decide to be gracious or to seethe. I think as human people, it’s important that we do our best to make others feel special, and to always be on the lookout for new friends.