For years, I struggled to find the courage to attend my high school class reunion.
Yesterday, my 35th was supposed to be ‘the one.’ I had finally lost the weight that I could not in high school, or the after childbirth years that followed. No longer 238 pounds, I finally felt like I could fit in with the rest of them….
…And not that anyone ever judged me.
My classmates were never scary, nasty or mean. On the contrary, they are some of the nicest, warmest, colorful and holiest people you would ever want to meet.
My problem is…myself.
So yesterday when my granddaughters’ birthday party was over, my son and my husband ventured home and I pointed the car towards the other park where the Luau style party was held. I had not made reservations, but mentioned that I might “stop by” after the party.
As I pulled into the parking lot my pulse began to race and I naturally assumed it was with excitement–after all, most of us parted at 18, and now at 53 we would be reunited once again. After exiting the car and pushing the lock button, I walked a few feet and noticed a large Class of 1978 banner decorating the pavilion in front of me. Older versions of my high school friends meandered around in brightly colored Hawaiian shirts carrying containers and plates of food.
I took one more step and could go no further. While most of me longed for the embraces of my old friends, I could not move. I was paralyzed with fear.
Backing up, I unlocked my car, climbed in and drove all the way home—sobbing.
Even today, I wrestle with the whys.
They were all there, waiting.
Why couldn’t I move forward?
It is unraveling slowly, and as much as I can figure out, the event seemed to re-trigger all my senses of worthlessness that I have carried throughout my life……I was never the smartest, prettiest, funniest, skinniest or most talented girl in high school. Though I longed for it, I was never asked to prom or homecoming–and why would they, after all who would want to date the fat girl? Each day was a struggle to attend school; insecure, fat, and bulging out of my clothes, trying to keep a smiling face while chaos, dysfunction and sleeplessness reigned at home.
Now, with my husband’s disability, our never ending personal injury case, and my two years of serious health issues, we are facing the loss of our home, and potential financial ruin.
Like pinpricks dotting my mind, I wondered many things, such as how I could face my classmates and let them into my world of our daily hell?
How could I tell them that in 35 years, I made nothing of my life?
All of the dreams I had, not one of them panned out.
And how could I honestly walk up and join in when I wasn’t able to tell them that I could not afford the ticket to attend the reunion because it was either that, or groceries?
These thoughts raged through my mind and kept me up last night, as I sobbed into my pillow.
Now on the twilight part of today, I am seeing a bit clearer and wish I had the courage to move forward yesterday. As I looked at the photos on Facebook, everyone seemed happy, no one looked perfect, but they were all beautiful.
And maybe, I haven’t won the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism, but I am a good writer and I won a small award this year….surely that counts for something?
And maybe I don’t live in a sprawling home and have a string of letters after my name, but I did have five beautiful children and I have seven gorgeous grandchildren. Surely, increasing the Kingdom of God is something I should be proud of and could have shared with them, right?
And perhaps we don’t take lavish vacations, and our lives are extremely boring by others’ standards, but I do have a handsome husband who loves me with all his heart, and surely, that is something I could have shared.
But no one will know any of this……..because I allowed the enemy to spin the Rolodex yet one more time. He almost convinced me again, but he forgot that this time I have a weapon…….and He is Jesus Christ.
The King of the Universe has told me that I am fine the way I am and I am NOT worthless and I have made something of my life—perhaps not what I wanted, but maybe it’s on the path to what He wants.
While it is too late to attend this reunion, I learned a huge lesson and it has nothing to do with wealth, notoriety, weight, or degrees……..and if I am still blessed to be alive, I will plan to attend my 40th Class reunion…….Lord willing.