I explicitly remember receiving the invite to join the Clearwater High School Class of ’09 Ten Year Reunion group on Facebook. It came through on my notifications a few months back and an array of emotions struck me. The thought of a ten year high school reunion is a surreal one. Where did the last ten years following high school go and why did nobody warn me that they would go by so fast?
Months before the event, I was more than willing to go. I actually couldn’t wait for it to approach. My high school experience was a positive one. I loved my group of friends (though we had our share of dramatic moments). We were all young and thoughtfully invincible – a typical high school group yada yada yada. First boyfriends, first kisses – it all happened. Spirit weeks were always a highlight. Being broken up with after class (that was terrible), and then bonding about it in the locker room with my best friend trying to figure out how someone had “the nerve to do something like that” to me.
Hand written love notes that I’m pretty certain I still have in a box stowed away somewhere. That one year I was on the bowling team, because my mom told me I had to pick a sport to join. To this day she still can’t believe I chose bowling, neither can I. Friday night football games were almost never missed – as a quarterback’s girlfriend, it came with the territory (though I would’ve happily attended no matter who I was dating). Was our football team fantastic? Heck no, but the time my friends and I spent in those bleachers under Friday night lights as we rooted on our Tornadoes is something I still think about to this day.
Things change though. People grow up, people move away, some fall off the map and refuse to be on social media. You keep in touch with the people you can, but life often gets in the way. It’s nobody’s fault. High school doesn’t have classes to prepare you for that.
As the reunion loomed closer, I became way more hesitant. I didn’t even give a final RSVP until the day of. I’m the worst kind of person, I know. The pros and cons rolled back and forth in my mind. None of my present day high school friends were attending. Who would be at the reunion and what on Earth would we talk about? I have a house, a husband, a cute puppy, a blog, a full time job. Standard stuff, I suppose. It’s not like I hide any of that either. As a blogger, I publish most of my life online daily. Would it all be considered “old news” as a conversation topic? One thought kept at the forefront of my mind though: it didn’t matter how many cons I could come up with – I knew full heartedly that if I didn’t attend this high school reunion, I would regret it.
Our reunion was held at the Brown Boxer, a well known Clearwater Beach favorite. Plus ones were invited, so of course I brought Ben along with me. After a pep talk in the car and deciding upon a code word to use as a signal for leaving in case things got too ~awk~, we made our way inside.
I was a bundle of nerves as we walked in. I led the way to the obvious first stop choice: the name tag table. Don’t worry, the bar was second. What ensued next was a slew of familiar faces, conversations, and catch ups with classmates that I hadn’t seen in ages. Some that I barely spoke to in high school and others that I had various memories with from way back when. The irony is that I had the shortest conversation with a person that I knew really well in high school. I’m telling you guys though, that is life. We grow, we change, a lot happens in ten years.
There was no need for a code word induced exit. Ben and I had a great time. I loved getting to introduce him to people I went to school with, though most admitted they already felt like they knew him from all of my posts. Hashtag blogger life, haha.
Ten years is a long time and a ten year reunion with a group of people that you kind-of-sort-of-might-know-slash-remember can seem intimidating. Heck, I had no idea what to really expect walking into Brown Boxer that night. My nerves were everywhere, and for what? We were all there for the same exact reason.
People may change, but my love for nostalgia hasn’t. That’s exactly the feeling that this reunion gave me and I’m so glad that I went. ’09, so fine. And I’m glad to type that this class is just as fine as when we left it ten years ago.