Tough Day

My phone rang this morning just before I was going to get in the shower. It was Megan, my friend of many years and coworker since I started my job five and a half years ago. She’s off on Thursdays too. Megan had some difficult news to share. She wanted to let me know that half of our department at work was getting laid off today.

I was stunned. I seriously had no idea this was coming. Maybe I’m a little naive. Or maybe I had my head so buried in all the work that was keeping me so busy that I didn’t stop to think about it. Yes, we’ve been insanely busy with our new endeavor, but loan volume came in much lower than anticipated. And I knew that. I just didn’t let myself put two and two together.

I logged into my work email while Megan and I talked, and sure enough, I found an email there. This email had been sent to the group that was “safe” for now. It was a forewarning of what the day had in store. How difficult it must have been to be one of those in the office today who had to open that email and know the person next to them wouldn’t be staying.

I got in the shower after I hung up the phone. And that’s when I cried. Ours is a small company. People grow close to one another there. Our department is like a little family. We work closely together and learn about one another’s lives. We get to know each others’ kids and spouses. We form bonds and spend time together outside the office. We like each other. Hell, some of us might even love each other. We are more than just coworkers.

I thought about Kathy, Liann, Dawn and Jane, single women who work hard to make it on their own. What will they do? I thought about Tania, with two little girls at home and a husband who is a foreigner and underemployed. Tania is the breadwinner in her family and owner of a new home. How will they make it? Jim is a young man who just bought a condo of his own. I worry just a little bit less about the ones who have a spouse at home who can help ease this burden. But I know this is devastating for all of them.

As for the rest of us, we have to try to manage the daily work load with half the employees. We were just starting to catch our breath after an insane peak processing season. It’s going to get interesting. We’ve been asked to prepare to do whatever it takes to maintain our existing business while contributing our efforts toward bringing in new business. We’ve been warned that we may be asked to participate in new endeavors that may take us out of our comfort zones, to adjust our flex schedules and be willing to be flexible about vacation time. All of these things are being asked in the hope that we can get the ball rolling again enough to bring back our friends and coworkers who have been laid off.

I’ll do whatever it takes for as long as it takes. I love my job and have great pride in my company. I know how rare that is. I know that few are lucky enough to be able to do something on a day-to-day basis that they find rewarding and fulfilling.  I was fortunate enough to find that just over five years ago. I don’t want it to come to an end and I’ll fight to keep it from happening. But I also know that if things don’t turn around and worse comes to worst, I’ll be okay. One thing this job has taught me is that I can do anything I put my mind to and I can find fulfillment in anything I put my heart into. I’d like to keep putting my mind and heart to use right where I am, but if that’s not in the cards, I’ll just have to carry those ideals with me wherever life takes me next. I just hope that my former coworkers believe the same is true for them.

Half the fun of bowling is NOT the actual bowling!

Yes, it’s time once again for the weekly bowling stories! The description of “weekly” here would, of course, refer to the actual bowling, not the stories. The stories would have to be more accurately described as sporadic and occasional. What can I say? This blog has no rhyme or reason and I like it that way!

Anyway…

First there was bowling on Saturday. It was couples’ league night, our every other Saturday gig. Mark and I missed the first night a couple of weeks ago, so it felt like a reunion to us after a long summer of not seeing our fellow couples’ league bowlers. (You know, technically, this is probably considered a “mixed” league more so than a “couples’” league. “Couples” would imply that the participants are sleeping together or at least cohabitating. Considering the fact that Floyd and Flo are not only partners, but siblings… well, the whole idea just becomes kind of icky. Let’s go with “mixed” league from here on out.)

Sorry. Digressed again. Back to the “mixed” league. It was great to see Jim and Jackie, our million-dollar-lottery-winner partners. When you think about the fact that we were literally just thrown together as virtual strangers at this time last year, it’s really cool to realize how well we all get along and how much fun we have. Jim is the funny-man and he’s always good for a boob or sex joke, or more likely, some laughter at his own expense. Jackie is the pretty one and has the best fingernails I’ve ever seen on a bowler. How she keeps them so well manicured, I have no idea. (Might have something to do with the large supply of money and frequent trips to the nail salon.) She’s supposed to be our anchor bowler but consistently tanks. We don’t care, as long as we have fun. And we always do.

This week, we bowled against Bonnie, Dan, Dorie and Steve. Yes, that Steve. The one with whom some questionable pix messages have recently been exchanged. He sent me this one while we were bowling right next to each other!

Nice arm, Steve! (Gosh, I hope that’s his arm!)

We had a great time Saturday night. Honestly, I’m not sure who won. I do know that I had a couple of decent games, one in the 150s and a 171! I’ve been bowling really bad lately, so this was some good improvement for me!

After it was all said and done, there was some hanging out to be done. I had enjoyed my limit of beers by this point, but Paul was suddenly passing out cold beers and I found another in my hand. He spent good money for it. How could I not drink it? Following ensued conversations with Bonnie over whether or not Target offers a selection of bras that compare with the quality of Victoria’s Secret. (We agreed to disagree here.) She showed me her belly button piercing. I showed her my surgery scars. I believe we also made plans to take a group trip to Vegas in November, and I was totally on board with this plan, with no regard for whether or not I’ll be able to get the time off work or whether or not we can afford it. But it sure sounded like a great idea!

There may have been one more beer and there was definitely a text message from someone I don’t know, inviting me to “a party for A.J. tomorrow at my parents’ house at noon. Come if you can. No gifts. Sorry so late. Hope to c.u.”

I thought it would be a good idea to reply. “Great! I’ll be there! ….. Who are you?”

You’d think it would have stopped there, but the texter responded. “Mandy D. Sara and Rick’s daughter. Bring Pam and Roland!”

Then I felt bad for deceiving poor Mandy who thought I was someone who wanted to come to A.J.’s birthday party. And since I don’t know Pam and Roland, there was no way I could bring them to A.J.’s party. In reality, I believe Mandy is a girl I met while out at Karaoke night one time with Gina two years ago or so. She was out with her girl friends and we all had a good time together. I remember she and Gina deciding we should all get together again sometime and so there was an exchanging of phone numbers. I promptly deleted Mandy’s number from my cell phone contacts because I knew I would never contact her after that night. Obviously, Mandy had not deleted me from her phone. So I wrote again, “I think we met at Sgt. Pepper’s one night a long time ago.”

Again, she responded. “Huh? No ur from pc? And so are my parents. Maybe wrong person?”

In my compromised state of mind, I found the sentence structure and abuse of grammar to be quite funny. I thought it was just the beer. Now I see that Mandy needs some lessons in English.  Anyway, I responded, “I think so.”

If you thought this would be the end of the conversation, you’d be wrong. Mandy replied again, “Sorry. We should party sometime soon! ur fun.”

See? I am fun. Steve said I wasn’t fun. But clearly, I am fun. Mandy, who I don’t even know says so.

The gathering broke up around midnight. I got a hug from the waitress with hot pink streaks in her hair. That was weird. I had no idea there was so much hugging to be done in bowling alleys, but it seems to be a staple of my visits to the lanes.

When the alarm clock woke me up at the crack of dawn on Sunday, I wasn’t in pain, but I sure was tired! Worth it. Totally worth it!

Monday night brought more adventures in bowling in the form of my women’s league. And when I say “adventures”, I mean, not really. But it was fun! Funky-Eyed Lou has taken to hugging me hello as well as goodbye. Waitress Lisa has taken to calling me “Baby Doll” as in:

“Lisa, is this beer for me?”

“Sure is Baby Doll.”

I’m not sure how I feel about being called “Baby Doll” by a woman who is approximately the same age as me, but if it makes her happy… I guess.

My little bud, Andy hung out at our table most of the night. I had two more good games, a 156 and a 171! In the third game, I had no open frames until the ninth frame, when I totally blew it! But Andy was there to high-five me every time I had any kind of success. And at the end of the night, he approached me awkwardly, threw his arms around me and gave me a big hug. I guess Andy wants hugs now too. It’s rather sweet, really, so I can’t complain.

We didn’t win Monday night, due to the opposing team’s huge handicap. But did we care? Nope. We had fun. And that is what bowling is all about.

Another Season Comes to a Close

The alarm clock buzzed much too early for a Sunday morning, but there was a ball park waiting on us.  As I tried to keep my eyes open, I could hear Jake milling around in the kitchen, getting ready to go out west for the day to help get the guys’ hunting spot ready for the season opener next weekend. When he went out the door just after six o’clock, I knew it was time for me to go wake Kacey. The fall State Softball Tournament would begin in a couple of hours.

It felt chilly in the house when I crawled out of bed, so I checked the weather online. “Forty-one degrees,” it said. It was forty-one degrees with an expected high of sixty-one degrees. Brrr! Not your typical softball weather! When Kacey emerged from her room, she was wearing her UnderArmour shirt under her jersey and had her warm-ups on over everything. I left the house in jeans, a long-sleeved shirt and a hooded sweatshirt. I wore my fur-lined shoes, no socks. It’s not October yet. No socks yet, if I can help it.

We arrived at the softball complex an hour before game time, as instructed by the coach. The girls needed time to warm up before their first game. As Kacey trudged off to meet her team, I climbed back in the truck, watching other people walking toward the fields wearing sweatshirts, with blankets draped over their shoulders and a few even wore winter jackets. I didn’t bring a jacket. I was glad I’d thought to grab a blanket. But I didn’t have to worry about the temperature just yet. I climbed back into the cab of the truck. I had another hour to sit in the warm truck and grab a few more Zs.

Game time arrived and Mark and I made our way to the field, lugging our canvas chairs and the blanket I knew I’d need. The sun was bright but the air was cold! The girls seemed to lack enthusiasm and they lost, seven to one, dropping into the consolation bracket.

Game two started right after the first and the girls seemed to come to life, securing their first win of the day. Then came a second win and a third. The air warmed and the players started peeling off layers. So did I. I slipped my feet out of my shoes and let the sun warm my bare feet. I love this time of year when the weather can run from one extreme to another.

As the girls played and won, they showed their true colors. They had fun and displayed their competitive spirit. They cheered each other on at the bat, speaking the language of the ball field.  “Come on kid! You can do it! Let’s go two-three!” The nicknames that have become so familiar rang out across the field, “Lo-Ly”, “D-Purp” and “Hay Rae.” I watched my girl, crouched behind the plate in her catcher’s gear, keeping her team mates on track as she announced where the other team was in the line-up or how many outs there were, or where the next play was going. I clapped and cheered from my spot behind the backstop as I heard the clink of the bats connecting with the softball, or the slap of a ball as it met the leather of a glove.

Soon the team was headed for the Consolation championship. They were now headed into their fifth game of the day. They were tired and it showed. The game started to slip away, almost from the very start. They never gave up hope though; never quit having fun. The game came to an end and the other team had beat them out of the win. The sun was just starting to show signs of its descent for the day and the chill began to return to the air. I slid back into my sweatshirt. Most of the fans had gone home for the day, ahead of those of us who were lucky enough to make it to the championship games. We said goodbye to those who had been our companions throughout the season, other moms and dads who willingly gave up their weekends in order to enjoy these small moments in time. My tired daughter trudged ahead of me toward the parking lot, dragging her rolling gear bag behind her. A hole that had worn through the bag earlier this summer and been repaired with some duct tape was beginning to resurface. I noticed how worn out her cleats were, the frayed laces bouncing off the pavement as she walked. Good thing she won’t be needing those cleats anymore this year.

I glanced around at the quiet, dusty ball fields and silently thought a goodbye to them.

Adventures with Eggs

Every weekend, I treat myself to a breakfast with eggs. During the week, I eat responsibly and health-like. Sort of. Stop laughing.

Anyway, on the weekends, it’s no-holds-barred with the eggs. I love eggs! There’s almost nothing you can’t put in them. I love a huge omelet stuffed with hash browns, sausage, cheese, onions and whatever else you can fit in there. But sometimes I’m too lazy to chop up all the additional ingredients and do all the prep work. Also, I’m not known for my grocery shopping prowess, so it’s not uncommon to open up the refrigerator and find slim pickings. But as long as there are eggs, I can create something with whatever else I find there. Remember the time I made a bratwurst omelet? It was awesome! But there were no bratwurst today. There was turkey, and as much as I love a good turkey dinner, I don’t want it in my eggs. There was however, some ham. Ham alone seemed a little anti-climactic and unadventurous. So I browsed around for something else to add to my eggs. That’s when I noticed the jar of pepperoncini. Hmmm… a little kick would be nice. I chopped up a couple of peppers along with my ham and threw it in the frying pan. A little salt… a little mexican cheese to boot, and voila! Breakfast with a kick!

Of course, there are probably a lot of things you DON’T want to put in your eggs. Fruit Loops, for example. Or raisins.

What do you put in your eggs?

Goings-on ’round here

I just cut all my fingernails off. I can type again. I let them grow out after summer bowling ended and I had them all nice and pretty for my class reunion. Polished and everything! (I know. Shocker.) I have really good fingernails. People are always asking me if they’re real. (Don’t really have that issue with other body parts.) But they were hindering my typing (and my bowling) so I cut them off again.

I know what you’re thinking. I’ve been away from the blog for the better part of the week and the most exciting thing I have to talk about is my fingernails? Nah, not really. I just never know where to begin when it’s been too many days since I’ve written.

So. The goings-on here this week:

I’ve been a little distracted with Facebook. Since the reunion, it’s been buzzing with chatter between all of the classmates who have reconnected again or made a connection for the first time. I’m having such fun with it! Although, I was a little disappointed when I discovered a friend with whom I was pretty close in my freshman and sophomore years. I friended her and asked her how she was doing. Her response sort of felt like…. “Oh. Hi. How are you? Who are you again?” Oh well. The other connections more than make up for that slight.

Mark and I missed our first night of bowling in the couples league due to his work-anniversary-banquet thingy. There’s a guy in that league, Steve, who sends me text-messages semi-regularly with ideas for this year’s fun night. (I am in charge of fun night this year.) He’ll send me ideas like Toga Bowling or Jello Shots Bowling. If you don’t pick up your spare, you have to have a shot. Thankfully I’m in charge of things. I don’t do shots.

Apparently, Steve was talking smack about me to our friend Paul at the first night of bowling, saying I never text him back and we never go golfing with the group when he invites us. (It’s true. We don’t. Mark is always working on the nights they golf.) Steve said I shouldn’t be in charge of fun night because I’m not fun anymore. I am fun! Steve has no idea how fun I can be! So Paul told me that Steve was bad mouthing me and I was offended. Paul said I should bend my knee or my arm and take a close-up picture of it and send it to Steve as a pix message. The theory being, if I did a good job of this, Steve might think he was getting a picture of cleavage. (Not MY cleavage. The man’s not stupid.) I had Mark help take the picture and sent it to Steve. (Steve’s wife is a really good sport. Otherwise I would never have agreed to this juvenile idea.)

It took a while but Steve finally texted back, “What IS that?”

“Ask Paul,” I responded.

Later, I felt guilty. So I sent Steve a message saying, “You KNOW that was an arm, right?”

“Yeah, right.”

“Okay,” I said. “You got me. It was Mark’s butt.”

I can’t wait to see how Steve looks at Mark when we show up at bowling this weekend!

At home, I’m enjoying Kacey so much. She is just loving life! She always has, but I think my class reunion and all my recent reflection on the person I was in high school has me marveling at the difference between my daughter and the high school me. I have to wonder how I got so lucky to have such a great kid. She likes everyone (almost), enjoys her classes, banters with her teachers and is well-liked by them, and still finds time for sports, socializing with her friends and volunteer activities. This week is Homecoming week at school and each day there is a theme. Yesterday was class-color day. The freshman, sophomores and juniors were each assigned a solid color. Seniors were assigned camouflage. Kacey and her friends are so into this, they made their own shirts and she took pictures all over school yesterday.

Haley (of the wooden camel rearranging fame) and Kacey

Matt (just a friend!) and Kacey

Can’t wait to see the pictures from today, which is City vs. Country day. She left the house this morning in a plaid shirt and her friend’s red cowboy boots!

In running news… well. I haven’t run in a few weeks now. I am just a bad runner and I’m tired of struggling with it. BUT… I did start doing some other things at the gym. Muscle building things and six-pack building things. And I LIKED it. Maybe if I get the rest of me toned up, I’ll find that I’m a better runner.

And in work news, The three-dollar and seven cent check has found its way back to my desk. (Back story here.) By my estimation, we have now spent $1.80 mailing this check back and forth. Dr. Michael’s Dad now wants the check reissued in Michael’s name “because the check is now void.” I don’t know WHY the check is void. I didn’t say it was void. Who is he to decide that it is now void? I’m sitting on this for a few days while I contemplate my response to him and try to convey to him that his son should cash the damn thing and please do not mail it back to us again, or he will just be out the damn three dollars and seven cents!

So. That’s been my week so far, other than the fact that it took Jake three days to change the litter in the cat’s litter box. But that’s a story that is best not told.

It was awesome!

Oh my gosh, you guys! My class reunion? Was SO. MUCH. FUN!

I am so glad I went! What an experience! I could have let those old high school feelings of insecurity and inadequacy hold me back as I have in the past. I’ve been skipping my high school reunions for years and there was a time that I believed I’d never attend another again. And it wasn’t because I just didn’t care or had no interest in going. It was because I was afraid of feeling the way I did all those years ago. It was easier to stay home and tell myself I didn’t care than to risk feeling like I didn’t fit in again. But this time, thanks in no small part to several of my former classmates, I was convinced to attend. I went from being completely reluctant to being nervously willing.

So, once I was convinced to attend, I felt it was my duty to convince Kendra, my high school best friend, that she must also attend. And this was no easy task. She and I were inseparable from the first day of freshman year. We drifted apart for a few years, but in the past year, we’ve reconnected again and it’s been wonderful! But, Kendra was not so easy to convince. She and I are similar creatures and she was more than reluctant to agree to attending. At one point I told her I was going to send in the money for both of us and then I would wait for her to let me know she was planning to go with me. The days passed by and the reunion loomed closer, and yet no commitment came from  Kendra. One week before the date of the reunion, I was lamenting this fact to my sister, Cory when she excitedly told me, “I’ll go with you!”

I pondered that idea for a moment and a smile came over my face! Why not? What the heck! Cory had graduated two years ahead of me, so she’d know a few of my former classmates. It was perfect! I didn’t have to worry about going alone, or not going at all and she would enjoy a fun night out. And that is how it came to be that my sister attended my twenty-five year class reunion with me!

And so the big day arrived! I spent most of Saturday doing the usual weekend chores and such, all the while thinking about the big party that night. Of course, I had already been shopping earlier in the week for a new outfit to wear. I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt the need to dress to impress!

And if I was already looking forward to the party, I became even more excited when my cell phone buzzed with a text message from Kendra on Saturday morning. “I think I’m going to go.” And that is how it came to be that my sister, Kendra and I all went to the twenty-five year class reunion together.

The three of us convened at my house and in short order, we were on our way to the Embassy Suites where the reunion was being held. As we came into the lobby, I saw a classmate with whom I’d not only graduated but gone to grade school, Jeff. We exchanged the obligatory “Hi-how-ARE-you-great-to-see-you” greetings and Jeff told us he was nervous about going in. He had arrived alone and was feeling nervous about going in. So we invited him to join our little crew and the four of us found our way to the check-in table. The first person I saw was Mike, the main organizer of the reunion and one of the classmates who was very persistent in convincing me to attend. It was apparent to me that my reluctance may have dragged on a little too long when he caught sight of me and gave me a standing ovation for showing! We shared a good laugh and Mike then directed us to write out our own name tags.

Now came the question of what to do with Cory. We couldn’t just put her own name on the tag. We toyed with making her Jeff’s wife, but a better idea soon surfaced…

A little back-story is in order here: About one-third of my high school class are Facebookers. For the most part, we have all friended one another. Now, one of our classmates is *Kari Edwards. At some point one of our classmates “found” Kari on Facebook, now going by the name of *Kari Marx Edwards, and friended her. Soon, as Facebook is prone to doing, the other classmates received friend suggestions to add Kari to their friends. And so we all did. And she accepted all of our friend requests.  Then, just a couple of weeks ago, it occurred to someone that Kari was now spelling her name “Carrie” instead of “Kari.” Upon further inspection, it was realized that “Carrie” was much younger than the rest of us and not a graduate of our high school at all. It was a case of mistaken identity, and Carrie Marx Edwards was now friends with a boat-load of people she didn’t really know. On the other hand, Kari Edwards was friends with none of us because she was listed only under her married name. We all got a good laugh out of that.

So, at the reunion, I gave my sister a name tag which read “Carrie Marx Edwards.” Problem solved and she was a great ice-breaker on a couple of occasions, especially when the real Kari Edwards stopped to talk with us.

But the best part of the reunion was seeing that all of those high school labels were gone. There were a couple of pre-reunion parties on Friday and one of them was a welcome back party for a classmate coming back from Florida. The party was jointly hosted by two women, one of whom had been very popular in high school, and another who had been an outcast. People who had never been a part of each others’ circle of friends were talking, laughing, catching up and bonding. It was awesome!

I loved hearing about people’s lives, talking for a while with Brian, who walked into his job in a marketing department one day, having no idea it would be the day he walked away from his career. He wanted something more out of life. He walked away from a successful marketing career to work with parents whose children have been murdered as well as with parents whose children have gone to prison. He runs support groups for these families in a very poor area of town. It was amazing to hear him talk. He was a person who clearly knew he was exactly where he belonged and he couldn’t wait to share all about it with anyone willing to listen.

I caught up with girls…errr…women, with whom I thought I’d had a passing acquaintance in high school, only to realize how excited they were to see me. There was so much squealing and hugging and talking it was almost overwhelming. It was then that I realized that it was I who had fueled my own feelings of insecurity. I now know that all the years of avoiding these reunions only served to make those feelings seem so much bigger in my mind than they probably ever really were.

I was amazed with how well everyone had aged. Well, the women, for the most part have aged well. I marveled at how beautiful everyone was! Some of the men had let themselves go a little, but no one looked really old, except for one guy, who turned out to be a former teacher, not a classmate! I talked with old friends, heard about their lives and families and told them about mine. And I talked with people who I had never really known in high school too. It was great having Cory along for this purpose. It started when she tried to discreetly ask me the names of a couple of people standing behind me. I had to look at the name tags, and I remembered the names, but soon realized that we had not ever really known each other in high school. But since Cory had asked, I turned to point to each and said, “This is so-and-so, and this is so-and-so.” And then so-and-so would smile, look at my name tag and we’d “reintroduce” ourselves and soon were talking away. I loved it!

The hours passed by quickly. Cory, Kendra and I left the party at a respectable hour. Word has it that many of the attendees carried on well into the morning hours, and Facebook reports promise more get-togethers soon, long before it’s time for another reunion. I definitely won’t need my arm twisted to go next time.

*names changed to protect the unsuspecting.

High School Reunion

It’s been twenty-five years since I graduated high school. And here is where most people would say, “Can it really have been that long already?” But not me. High school does seem a lifetime ago. So much has happened since I walked away from that part of my life.

Let’s just make one thing clear right up front. I am not one of those who longs to go back. I did not enjoy my high school years. They were filled with insecurity and self-doubt. I felt ugly and was painfully shy. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. I had a small circle of close friends, but my high school was a big place, with … I think … well over 300 students in my graduating class alone. It was a private Catholic high school filled with a lot of privileged kids. And I am not complaining when I say this, but I was not a privileged kid. And I’m glad for it now. Not having my every desire made me who I am today and that’s a person I’m fairly happy to be. But back then, being the poor kid among the rich kids made me feel less than everyone. It made me feel insignificant. And it took moving on into a world bigger than high school for me to learn to love the person I was. So maybe you can understand now why, when I look back, I encounter a time I do not want to revisit.

I attended a couple of my class reunions early on. I went to the five and ten-year parties. But after that, for whatever reason, I decided I was done with it all. I skipped the fifteen and the twenty and had no regrets. I hadn’t ever planned to attend another high school reunion. In those early years, getting back together with old classmates only seemed to bring back memories best forgotten.

And then…

Enter Facebook. When I signed up, I had no intention of trying to connect with my high school classmates. For one thing, I had never really known most of them. And I had spent a good lot of years purposely forgetting them because they were part of the scenery of a place I didn’t want to remember. But as much as I didn’t want to reconnect with my classmates, they seemed to want to find me again! I was reluctant at first. I was perfectly content to leave well enough alone. But they were having none of it.

So I started letting them in. I accepted friend requests from people who had long been pushed to the back of my mind. I was nervous at first. I thought that the insecurities of my youth would come flooding back. I hated those feelings and I didn’t want them to have power over me any more.

And slowly, I began to realize that my high school insecurities might be gone. I had thought that it was those privileged kids who had made me feel so unimportant way back when. But as I began to let the adult versions of those kids back into my life, I started to understand that it was never them who had made me feel the way I did. It was me. The group of us are no longer the jocks, or the band geeks, the cheer leaders or the brainiacs. We’re not divided into the popular and unpopular. We’re all just people who shared four years of our lives together as we prepared ourselves for “the real world.”

And so now, this weekend there will be a twenty-five year reunion. I was non-committal at first. People would ask if I was going and I’d say, “maybe,” all the while thinking, “No way.” But as the days and weeks have passed since the reunion was announced, I’ve come to realize that I’m only giving power to the high school me who wants to convince me I should stay home and keep to myself. And what would I have learned if I’d allowed that part of me to win this debate? Nothing.

So I kicked the high school me in the ass and told her she wasn’t needed anymore. I got this. I’m good. I can do this. And I want to do this.

And the best part of this revelation about myself? It’s not just me. While on Facebook last night, I found myself giving pep talks to two former classmates who each had a case of the nerves over this reunion too. Seems there were more of us than I ever realized who spent their high school years wishing they were more confident, better looking, more athletic, smarter, more outgoing…

I got one of them convinced. The other is still on the fence about going. But I’m going to nag her hourly between now and Saturday. I’m going to make sure she goes. She was my best friend back then and the one person who helped me get through my high school years and was responsible for a lot of fun and adventure. She’s going, if I have anything at all to say about it. But either way…

I’m going. And I can’t wait!