(Side note: when I wrote this, I was on a plane in a very reflective mood)
I’m currently sitting on a plane on my way back to South Florida contemplating if I made the right decision. In between the prepacked peanuts and biscoff cookies, second thoughts on a recent decision ensued. Three weeks prior I threw caution to the wind and paid to attend my 20 year high school reunion. Why the contemplation? Most of the people who I was friends with/hung out with during those crucial four years of “teenagery” chose not to attend because of work, other obligations or just plain ‘ole “nah I ain’t going”. I originally opted to be “too cool for school” and not show up. I mean, who wants to attend something like a “high school reunion” where there’s a mix of people who kinda knew you or just didn’t know you without the old crew to retreat to and people watch with.
But as I began to reflect on the past 20 years of my life which in a few days will culminate into a weekend full of events with faces that decorated the hallways, pep rallies and classes, I saw this as a milestone that must be reached. In the 20 years beyond high school, I earned my bachelor’s degree, landed my first “grown up” job in a terrible economy, moved out of my childhood bedroom and into my adult home, earned a masters, wrote my first book and embarked on a weight loss journey where I lost nearly 40 pounds to date (..and still loosing thank you very much!). In all those good things, there were painful moments. I was laid off two weeks before Christmas one year into living on my own, got into my first car accident where my vehicle was a total loss, suffered heartbreak then cared for and laid my father to rest (all of the details are in my book..if you want the tea, hit me up for a copy).
The urgency to attend the reunion became great. Thoughts of “maybe I’ll just attend one event” turned into “I must traverse this milestone and close this chapter”. I must do it for the culture.
There is something wonderful that lies beyond the event filled weekend. Something wonderful beyond the hugs and the “so, what are you doing?” type questions. I see a vast land of opportunity that needs to be conquered. More things to experience. More things to write about. But just like any book, the last sentence has to be written and the page turned to write a new chapter.
I want to punctuate the past twenty years of my life with smiles, positive reflections and gratitude. Lots of it. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my mom. I owe it to my dad. I owe it to God for even allowing me to see a 20 year reunion as some of my classmates weren’t able to. This formerly quiet girl who spent most of her waking hours in the high school bandroom trying perfect her french horn playing “swaga” will gracefully step back into time as a battle tested 30 something wearing a slightly tilted crown. The tilt represents the journey I took to get here. It wasn’t straight. It had its bumps and bruises but it was still an honorable royal walk to the greatness that I am now because of the years I fatihfully endured since walking across the stage at FIU Arena on a rainy afternoon in June.
So, as the plane lands and comfort overtakes my decision to attend the reunion without my closest friends bka “da crew”, I will say here’s to 20 years post-high school and the rest of the life that God has given to me, everyone else from Miami Norland and all the 1997 high school grads worldwide.