This weekend I attended my 10 year high school reunion. We made a weekend out of it and started festivities on Friday with a tour of my old high school, Newport. The school didn’t change one single bit in the decades between my mom attending and me attending (including a couple of teachers who remembered her!), but after I graduated they bulldozed it and built a new school that looks like it’s the set of a movie. The new Newport boasts a beautiful, fully-outfitted theater, stairs, Smart boards in designer classrooms, and a green room for broadcasting class. Very impressive.
On Saturday I joined about 1/3 of my class at a Seattle brewery to catch up, reminisce, laugh, and take stock of the changes. I am Facebook friends with many of the people who came, so it felt a little like a Facebook social where we elaborated on stuff these “friends” already knew. Obviously, we’re a lot different now. Marriages, kids, careers… I was really proud of all my classmates. There’s a gym owner, a DA in a hard city, a flight trainer, and lots of tech-savvy friends making money with their skills. I thought it might feel like a bunch of one-upping, but I was content to just listen and be impressed. There are people working with refugees, teaching kindergarten, and getting advanced degrees.
In other ways, it was just a great chance for me to hang out, sans baby, with friends I’ve had forever (I’ve been friends with Heather and Chrissy longer than I haven’t! That is a milestone to celebrate, I say).
I am certain everyone feels this way, but I felt very different. Although I had become a Christian the summer before 11th grade, it wasn’t until my senior year that my life really began to change. I stood for and carried a lot that I just shed over the last year of high school, and I put on a lot of new garments over the next 10 years. When you think about it, on the taboo topics like sex, religion and politics, I essentially believe the opposite of what I professed in high school. The girl most of the people at my reunion remember doesn’t even exist anymore.
These photos makes me extremely grateful for the friends who stuck with me through all those changes. That they see something worthy of sticking around for is humbling to say the least.
A final thought: I know I’m not the only one who was missing a charismatic member of our class who would have been leading a salsa lesson and doling out bear hugs.
And, on a not-so-serious note, does anyone else think I take the turtle neck a little too far in photos?