I loved high school. I wasn't popular, but I loved the few close friends I had. I got along with just about everyone (at least that is how I remember it). I didn't date really, I just hung out with my friends. I played sports and so most of my friends were part of that too. In high school, I felt good at things, I felt comfortable. Sure, I dealt with all the usual teen angst. There were times I felt bullied, but over all, I look back on that time with happiness. I'd do it again for sure.
I cannot believe that is has been 19 years since I left high school. Seriously. It makes me feel incredibly old to know that my 20 year reunion is next year. How has this happened?
Thanks to facebook, I have been able to reconnect with so many people from high school. Notice, I said "people from high school", not "friends from high school". I stayed in touch with the few close friends I had in high school...a handful of them. I got married 14 years and 3000 miles away from where I went to school and 3 people that I graduated with came to the wedding. One of my favorite memories from our wedding weekend was sitting in my kitchen with my three best friends from high school, laughing our asses off about a million stupid things.
Since I have gotten back in touch with these people from high school, I have realized that I really missed out back then. I have formed some amazing bonds with people who I rarely spoke to during my time in school. I didn't hate them, I didn't love them...I was indifferent to them because I didn't know them and they didn't know me.
I see their pictures and hear their stories, the things they have gone through, the things are doing now and I feel so amazingly proud. These are my friends. My friends from high school. They make me laugh, they make me cry. I cheer their achievements and comfort them during their difficult times and failures. What a gift! To be able to feel such closeness with people whom I haven't seen or actually spoken to in almost 20 years.
Its strange to see these people, who I really only know as teenagers, who in my mind will always be teenagers, having children...raising children. Its strange to have them share the things their children do, because it feels like we were just doing those things! Some have teenagers, some are still having babies. And when I see their pictures, the pictures of the my friend's children, I want to scoop them up and hug them - the children AND my friends.
No matter how much time has passed and how much distance there is between us all, we shared that time in our lives. We all experienced our high school during those same years. We experienced it in different ways, but there is a ribbon of commonality that runs through all of it, that ties us together...now and always.
A couple weeks ago, Jeff, who graduated with us with on a reality show - a cooking competition. He posted it on facebook and everyone from high school was watching it that night. While I sat in my home in Vancouver, Washington, I felt a connection to everyone that I went to high school with, the entire WTHS Class of 92 and no matter what, no matter how you knew or didn't know him in high school or since then, he was our guy. It was like we were all there together, watching and cheering one of our own.
I know that I am fortunate and blessed to be able to form these relationships after all these years with people who knew me back then. I am fortunate that they get the chance to see who I am now and I know that I am blessed to see who they are now.
Its not fair that we go through life in this manner....we should know more when we are young. I yearn for those younger days and really wish I would have spent time with some of the people I visit with most now on facebook and through blogs. For example, if I had known how funny Kelly was, or how much she liked to curse, we would have been inseparable. If I had know just how strong Alania was, well, she would have been my go to girl. If I had known that Kerry had such a soft spot in her heart for animals, we would certainly have been best buds. And Karen, if I had known all the amazing things I know about her now, I wouldn't have let a day go by without talking to her. I wish I had spent all of the last 19 years in close contact with these people, instead I'll have to spend the rest of my life doing that. I can't wait to see who we become, because we aren't done growing yet.
I guess there would be something amazing about saying you went to high school with someone who was really successful and well know - like the President or Bill Gates. I think there is something even more amazing about seeing the people you went to high school with making a mark on their worlds in all different ways, big and small. It is amazing to see these people living ordinary lives that are anything but ordinary.
I love them all, all these people from high school who are now my friends from high school and I can't wait to see them again someday.