My High School Reunion

* please read if you have ever gone to high school, are in high school or plan to be in high school soon!*

For many teenagers and young adults alike, high school can be one of the toughest times in their lives. A time which is filled with so much self-doubt, hormonal changes, social anxieties, peer pressure mixed in with trying to find your rung on the social ladder, getting good grades and having to begin your path towards a very uncertain future.

When I think about my high school years I remember it mostly as a time in my life when I was at peace with myself and I was happy. I may be in the minority when I say that my high school years are probably ranked among some of the best years of my life. Being a high school student in the mid to late 1980’s was ‘like totally gnarly dude’ (I bet when you read that you even used the accent!). The fashion trends, the big hair and perms, the introduction of computers and some other awesome new technology, the movies, the TV shows and the music all contributed to the amazing memories I have of my high school years.

The transition for me into high school from elementary school seemed to go pretty smoothly. Although I was entering a much larger building and a very unfamiliar territory I wasn’t doing it alone. The excitement and privilege of having so much more autonomy and responsibility allowed me to revel in the overall experience that went along with it.

It is important to note here that the main emphasis of high school is to prepare us for a higher education, a satisfying career or hopefully both, but that high school is also a time for growing up and enjoying countless firsts. I believe that in order to mold ourselves into capable and contributing adults in today’s society, one must take the opportunity to explore and experience those firsts, many of which help us to mature while making plenty of mistakes along the way but still creating those amazing and lasting memories. During my five years of high school (for anyone who entered high school in Ontario after 2003 may not know that it used to be five years) I got my driver’s license, had a rockin’ Sweet 16 party, made some of the best friendships, fell in love, fell out of love, explored many of my passions and so much more (sorry, trying to keep it PG here).

As a mom of three children, 2 of which have since graduated from high school and my ‘baby’ who is already halfway there (well in 6 weeks she will be), I have recounted time and time again to them the lasting impact high school can have on their lives and the endless amount of doors it can open for them, especially in the almost 30 years since my graduation.

This past weekend while engaging in a conversation with some friends and parts of my family I had a sudden urge to dust off my old high school yearbooks from a box in the basement and give my kids a good laugh while I was at it. It felt like I was watching an episode from Oprah’s ‘Where Are They Now’ show marveling and reminiscing about so many now unrecognizable faces from the hallways we once walked together all those years ago. It didn’t quite hit me until later that evening and well into the next day when my negative self-talk so rudely interrupted my walk down memory lane toward contradictory thoughts of my time spent hanging out in those hallways. Could the direction I strolled down those hallways in somehow have led me to my journey I’m on today, did I somehow take a wrong turn down one of the many hallways even though I followed the expected pathway that high school ranks most value on at the time?

As I continue to consider this recourse today, I am also relishing in the anticipation of my upcoming high school reunion. It is my high school’s 50th anniversary this year and in three weeks from now there will be a two day celebration which will include all past and present faculty and students who have walked and continue to walk those same hallways over the last 50 years as I once did (and believe it or not there are still some faculty teaching there from some 30 years ago). If this reunion had taken place a few years ago I truly believe that I would have been first in line for it or maybe even have joined the administrative committee, but instead I am left feeling completely tormented and anguished over it.

It was over a year ago when I first heard about the reunion and I joined the Facebook group that had been created in hopes of reaching as many people as possible. In the months following I have observed the preparations and anecdotal storytelling for the upcoming reunion while hiding behind my laptop in silence, sometimes feeling a sense of warmth and sometimes a sense of sadness. When I first joined the Facebook group, the reunion seemed so far out of reach and so I just kept observing in silence, but now it is just weeks away and I can no longer just observe from a distance.

I have someone to go to the reunion with, probably the most notable person from my high school days, someone who has continued to be right by my side through all my peaks and valleys since graduation day, someone who understands me, someone who doesn’t place judgment on me and someone who only wants the best for me, so then after reading all this what could possibly be stopping me? The simplest and most straightforward answer would have to be the ruthlessness and unrelenting conduct of my Depression and Anxiety.

So if I don’t make it to my reunion this time around, maybe a goal I can set for myself is to aim for their 100th anniversary reunion in another 50 years which will put me at the ripe old age of 96/97 years old, now the only question left to answer is, who’s coming with me?

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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