Sunday, June 22, 2008

Something Wicked This Way Comes

As I entered the house, I could feel a chill in the air (cue: Exorcist theme). A presence I had been dreading for years had finally tracked me down and was moving in for the kill. I shut the door behind me and began to slowly ascend the stairs. Sweat poured from my brow and I began to regret coming home. But where else was there to go? I had to face my demons eventually. A flash of white caught the corner of my eye. I glanced down and immediately a quick shudder passed throught my entire body. It was here. My invitation to my first high school class reunion!

All right, all right, all right, high school wasn't really that bad! If I had to rate it 1 (worst) to 10 (best), it'd probably be at 5.

So, let's go way back, back into time. My high school wasn't a bad place. No metal detectors, no shootings, not many teen pregnancies. It was fairly normal. High school was quite diverse but definitely didn't prepare me for the real world. I was pretty active and belonged to a few organizations. Student government, marching band, quiz team, audio/video dept, etc. You get the idea. I did participate in basketball and tried out for golf (yeah, this was before Tiger Woods). I also took part in the junior talent show which really made me more respected. For example, my sophomore biology teacher, who was the loyal servant of Tom Selleck (long story!) and the Queen of Hell, nearly failed me. She told my mother I wasn't college material. After she saw me perform, she was eating out of my hand saying how talented and how far I'd go in life. Yeah, whatever. Yes, I'm a bit bitter. Why?

After the many years of college (I've been in four colleges in FL, NH and MA) I realize I was no where near prepared for what was out there. I did not have much help in selecting a school. The guidance counselors repeatedly encouraged the minority students into military service. I was in a lot of honors and college prep classes in HS and had awesome grades (except in science) but because I wanted to "fly planes", they pushed the Air Force on me. I'm okay now. Four schools and five years of full-time work will toughen you up quick. Yet, I still wonder about where I might have been had I receieved proper guidance.

The other reason I don't want to attend is because I am at a point in my life where I am finally in college, with my major declared and mere semesters away from graduation. In my opinion, attending this event would be a step backwards. I want to look toward my future. Moreover, I was not exactly a jock or a nerd in HS. I was quiet (still am) and tended to stick to a small group of similar friends. I was in the art class, enjoyed film classes and usually avoided the cafeteria during lunch. I was bullied during my first year but eventually overcame that. But even as a senior, I never really came out of my shell. On that note, I wasn't out of the closet in HS. I guess that's why I was so quiet; I was coming to terms with my orientation.

Going to the class reunion would probably "de-evolve" me into a quiet, shy person again. I'm sure many people would disagree. I have come a long way. I'm more opinionated, mature, wiser and definitely don't see things the way I did in that provincial school. However, I still lack a certain self-confidence and I feel that the moment I enter, I'll feel inadequate or unaccomplished. Granted I am blessed to be working, going to school, and just doing okay in general. Some alums are probably parents, others hooked on drugs, and a few I'm sure have died. However, I'd like to return with a partner, and with some accomplishments under my belt. Get my career started. I'm a seriously envious person and I know putting myself in this situation would be like letting a recovering alcoholic run wild in a liquor store. It's just going to be bad.

The reunion isn't until 2009 and while I have time to re-think my decision, I don't think I will. One friend already called me asking if I was going. I'm sure I'll have others ask me throughout the year. I admit, I am curious to find out how some people turned out but not enough to suffer through this. I harbor no ill-will toward any of my former classmates (there were some fun times!) but I just don't think I'm ready to go back to that point in my life.

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