Last night was my high school 10 year reunion. Ten Years. I stayed up and thought “High school really sucked. Well, it wasn’t all bad. I did have a lot of fun and hilarious memories with my best friends. Still, a ten-year reunion doesn’t sound like much fun, for me. I know other people who are excited to go. So why am I not?”
I have many memories of me and my good friend Kelly watching Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion over and over again in 8th grade. We even tried learning the dance scene to “Time After Time”. I also remember thinking how very old Romy and Michelle were… Now, looking back, there’s no way I’m that old. No. Way.
I did not attend my reunion for various reasons. Besides the fact that it would include flights for me and Husband (and that Facebook has ruined any surprises), it would also include returning to High School. I did not love high school. I mean it wasn’t miserable…no one threw pig’s blood on me at the prom and Regina George wasn’t making my life miserable. There were definitely good moments with great friends, but overall high school was really hard. Not hard in the academic sense, hard in the social sense.
I wasn’t bullied all the time. I wasn’t Miss Popularity. I was definitely not the athletic type. I wasn’t bad enough to fit in with some. I wasn’t good enough to fit in with others. I wasn’t pretty enough, rich enough, funny enough, slutty enough or outgoing enough. I always felt like I was never enough. I was often trying so hard to hide the real me and be someone I could never be.
Having said that, I wasn’t a loner either. I had friends. In fact, I am still very close to my best friends from high school. I danced, ran cross-country, was a member of almost every school group and an officer of most of them. I made great grades, got lots of scholarships and was even voted “Dutchess” of our junior prom court. (The “queen” title was reserved for seniors.) I had a serous and steady boyfriend too. None of this made me feel like I “fit in”. It made high school feel like one big competition and I was never quite able to make it to the top.
From the outside looking in, it probably seemed like I had it pretty good in high school. Inside though, I was insecure, always panicking, never sleeping, working 3 jobs, struggling to keep my head above the water and dying to get out of high school. I don’t think I’m alone in this either. High school had its ups and downs, but it was certainly not “the best days of our lives”.
If you would have asked the 18-year old Hilarie where she’d be in 10 years, she never would have assume she’d be where she is today. Since high school I’ve earned two degrees, traveled the world, lived in the most exciting places, married the man of my dreams (who turned out not to be my high school sweetheart), grew up a lot and learned to be very happy in my own skin. In some ways I’m that same competitive hard-working girl, but in so many ways I’m a new person. I don’t know if the shy insecure 18 year-old Hilarie would even recognize the 28-year old one.
It’s amazing how much can change in ten years. I would love to see how my classmates have grown and changed too…maybe the 15th reunion….or the 20th. We’ll see.
Class of 2003, hope you had an awesome time last night. I stayed up watching Romy and Michelle to celebrate. Life has only gotten better since high school, so let’s keep it that way!