On being 18 again

My high school class reunion was last weekend. The planning committee put together events for Friday night (a group of seats at the Boston Red Sox affiliate team the Lowell Spinners), Saturday night (the official reunion dinner), and Sunday (a family day at a large park in the city).

I didn’t go. To any of them. I couldn’t. I started at that high school as a junior. Everyone had their friends and as the new kid, they were not really interested in me. I joined the swim team and met some of my classmates, but still, I wasn’t as good as they were and I always felt like an outsider. I never really fit in anywhere. Oh I tried! I played sports, got injured and had to quit all but one. I got invited to a football game once and went. They all went drinking afterward and I didn’t go. I think that event is what set me apart from them…forever.

I was just reading one of the e-mails sent out since the reunion that was speaking to how the reunion made him feel. My classmate wrote, “I must admit that I am caught up with a feeling of nostalgia – the feeling of being 18 again, the feeling of being able to do anything.” Well they did “do anything”. There are stories, awkwardly humorous ones, about how even now, 25 years later, the cops were called to the after party. One female classmate (National Honor Society, Harvard Graduate, now business owner) commented “Here we are, 43 years old and still…” I know I wouldn’t have been invited to that party. We would have gone, had dinner, and returned home. We might have gone to the family day and heard about the party, and then I would have felt resentful that I wasn’t invited, just like I felt when we were 18 and I wasn’t invited to ‘their’ parties.

Although I would love to share in a wonderful feeling of nostalgia of being 18 again, for me that time was anything but a time I want to remember. Every family has their moments, and for my family, those years were it. I know there was an impact on my brother and sister as well. And I also know that I am not alone. Most of us endure things during those years that are difficult to remember. For me, that time lead to a series of events that are now haunting me. God is healing me, but reading through the reunion messages sprinkled with friendship and idealistic good memories I mourn the loss of those innocent years of being almost an adult, carefree and blessed with many friends. I sit, again, outside the window looking in.

I am going to walk away this time with my head held a little higher. Yes, I have made mistakes, big ones. But by the grace and mercy of God I am forgiven. I can now stand in a new ‘class’ with new friends and family and say “THIS is where I finally belong.” I have graduated again. This time I am in the Heavenly Honor Society!

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5 thoughts on “On being 18 again

  1. HW says:

    Amen!

    My reunion is this summer (20 yrs) and I still have no interest in going. What a rough season jr high/ high school was.

    I’m happy to be with you in the Heavenly Honor Society! πŸ™‚

    ~Heidi

  2. lori says:

    You know it’s weird. I went back and forth on this so many times. In the end, we couldn’t go…well I could have gone but chose to put my family first on Sunday.

    But since we moved right in the middle, I have been invited to the 25th reunion for the school I wanted to graduate from. I’m thinking about going to that one. But, again, I’m tossed. I need to pray about it and let God help me to know if I should spend the money, travel and reconnect, or let it go.

    I’m so pleased, though, that through Him, I have friends! Thanks for being one!

  3. HW says:

    Absolutely! πŸ™‚ It is amazing the bond that comes through Christ… even when we haven’t met in person. Sometimes I think we get closer this way because we get to know a person’s heart. Although someday it would be so awesome to meet.

  4. Liz says:

    I won’t ever attend my high school reunion because I moved to that school the summer before my senior year and only spent one year there. No one was terribly interested in meeting the new girl when good senior-year fun was to be had.

  5. lori says:

    Oh, Liz!! I so know that feeling!!

    But isn’t it great to have friends now that you can count on? None of the high school drama–well, ok, some drama! But it’s different, don’t you think?

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