It's amazing that the only bad memories I have of high school are related to my shame in myself. High School Stacey was by no means popular. I didn't fit in with really anyone - I had a ton of friends, none of whom ever hung out with each other. I went to exactly one big party in high school - my friend Erin's 18th birthday party. I didn't drink, do drugs, or have sex, so I didn't fit in with the people who did. I wasn't smart, so I didn't fit in with the people who were. Didn't play sports, didn't play instruments, couldn't do drama... I didn't fit in anywhere. But dude, I SOOOOoooo wanted to be popular.
I did everything I could to impress the popular kids - buying brand names with my $4/hour job and no allowance, hitting every single football game I could, being "cool" (see also: disrespectful) in class to make the other kids laugh... etc.
With utter shame I will admit that I made fun of a lot of people too. There was this one kid, Charlie, who moved to our school during my junior year. Charlie wore weird shoes, had long frizzy hair, painted his toenails black, and was generally a loner. He was the object of everyone's ridicule, and I was no exception. I had no pride. A girl named Michelle brought her brother to the prom - once that got out, I jumped in with the pack of lions and mocked her mercilessly. Nobody was immune from what a jackass I was - including the special needs kids. I even joined in once when a popular girl started making fun of my good friend's shirt.
While I want my successes to dazzle everyone at my reunion next week, they likely won't. What I've grown into and learned isn't quantifiable. I don't have a stellar career, impressive weight loss, worldly travels, higher education... However, I think that if they do the cliched most-improved person award, I should totally get it. I am 100% NOT the person I was when I walked away from that school, and I am so proud of that fact, because I sucked in high school. SUCKED.
It will be interesting to see the people I tried so hard to emulate. Are they the same people? Have they changed? Will I be extremely happy that I never DID fit in because I'd probably still be there making the same mistakes I made in high school?
Deep thoughts one week before my 10-year high school reunion. I SHOULD be thinking deeply about who's going to take care of my cats during our trip and who's going to babysit Ace while I'm at the reunion and what I'm going to pack and the things we still have left to buy, etc etc etc. But here I sit, whining about what a loser I was. Doesn't everyone think they were a big loser in high school?
5 days ago