People who know me now would never believe I used to be a shy person. Truth be told that not so confident shy girl resurfaces from time to time making me come off as a not so friendly gal, which is exactly what I was like in High School.
I grew up in a really small town. Like graduated with 30 people type town. I could not wait to get out of there and my attitude towards small town America shown through like the sun. I had a core group of girlfriends and the coveted older, handsome, standout athlete boyfriend, but aside from that, I was probably not that well liked.
I graduated in 1992 and said goodbye to all things “Ripley” related. Friends, boyfriend, the town and headed to OSU in Stillwater, you know a mere 6 miles from my parents house. I loved my time at OSU. I stayed there 6 years!!! I sometimes saw people I knew there from HS but for the most part I started reinventing myself. OK so the first version maybe wasn’t so great but hey Rome wasn’t built in day.
This brings me to my 25th high school reunion! You read that right 25 years. It was also a 90s reunion so there would be classes from 10 years. I go back to Oklahoma every Summer now that we have moved and I thought what the heck. Let’s do this. I also decided to spend the entire week at my parent house, which I have never spent more than a couple nights at a time!!!!
I took my boys by my old K-12 school and they were not all that impressed but a funny thing happened while I was there. I became very nostalgic and all of these wonderful memories of growing up started filling my thoughts and my heart. I sort of felt like the Grinch when his heart grows two times after hearing the citizens of Whoville singing on Christmas. I had to actually drive my boys by the school a second time and this time I got out at the old Gazebo where I spent many a lunch time holding hands with my High School boyfriend and giggling with my girlfriends.
My oldest friend from High School and her sister picked me up for our Reunion. I knew ahead of time that some people I was really looking forward to seeing would not be there but non the less I was excited to go. We got to the venue early and parked in an adjacent parking lot to assess the situation. We were also having a cocktail. It felt like we were in an episode of Sweet Home Oklahoma. To give us a leg up we also had copies of yearbooks so we could figure out who some of the people were. We laughed so hard I was crying. When we finally went in, it was clear what we had been up to and let me tell you the laughter, tears, cocktails and dancing continued.
When it was all said and done, not that many people showed up for the Reunion, but for those of us that did, a fun time was had. I realized no matter how different we were 25 years ago….we are all the same now. OLD!!! Just kidding we are all adults and misconceptions from years ago have long faded. Maybe its because of Facebook that we all feel close, like we still know each other or maybe it’s because I am continuing to evolve but if I am in Stillwater next year at Reunion time……I will go again……..