It has been a long time since I was in high school. Twenty three years, to be exact. I will sit back for a moment while you do the math.... *insert Jeopardy music here* .....yes, that makes me 41 (well, not quite, but in 4 more days.
High school for me was not horrible, but it wasn't exactly a cake walk either. I was not one of the Universally Disliked. I was not one of the Undesirables. I wasn't one of the Ultra Populars either. I floated around somewhere in the middle. I had a lot of different friends, in different social groups. Some were partyers, some were not. Some my friends drank alcohol, some smoked, some smoked stuff....and some did none of those things. Some dated lots of guys, some dated the same guy, some did not date. And strangely enough, I felt comfortable with all of them, even if most of the time, I felt terribly uncomfortable with myself.
I truly had not thought too much about high school in recent years. I had no real connections to anyone from there much anymore....until I found Facebook. Now I have found people I haven't even thought about in years....and I am truly enjoying it!
I have found in myself a confidence that was never there in high school. I know, most people are not truly confident in high school, but there are sure those who seem to be. The ones that owned the school and whom everyone looked up to and admired and wanted to be. In reconnecting with some of the people I knew back then, I have realized that what appeared on the outside was not what was truly going on on the inside. That while I felt so alone with my skeletons and demons while everyone else seemed to breeze through easily, that they too, were trying to keep their demons and skeletons from showing through.
The other part to that is that there are people that may have appeared even weaker than myself, who have blossomed into these amazingly beautiful people, full of care and compassion that was just never allowed to be nurtured in the snake pit of high school. And yet, there are still some people that so intimidated me in high school, that I feel I cannot approach them now, because those old feelings of fear of rejection still linger somewhere in my psyche.
I have grown into a complex, intelligent, compassionate adult human being. I have far more confidence than I ever dreamed I could. A lot of that, of course, has come from my life experiences, negative and positive. From being a parent, to being a single parent, to being a single parent to a teenager. From going through divorce, and the breakdown of a second major relationship. And still not afraid to love again, knowing for certain that this time....third time is a charm. And hoping that somewhere along the way I am teaching my children that people make mistakes, no one is perfect, and that the only bad thing is not trying to fix a mistake once it is recognized. Teaching them that sometimes there can be more love, peace and joy when it comes divided in two. Teaching my children that it matters not who they love, but that it is how they love them that is important.