Social media, Facebook specifically, has allowed me to reconnect with many of my high school friends. When I heard about the reunion I was both excited and nervous. A lot about me has changed in the ensuing years. In many ways, maybe most ways, I’m a very different person. And I quickly realized that reconnecting via Facebook is very different than reconnecting face to face.
As I debated with myself about attending, I was reminded of a fad that many of us enjoyed during our Jr. and Sr. High years called the “come as you are party”. This fad usually involved an early Saturday morning call. Typically the invitee was still asleep, no makeup on, hair in curlers, and still wearing pajamas. Accepting the invitation to come for breakfast meant walking out of the door immediately. It was fun and funny to see everyone, sleepy-eyed and fresh out of bed, in oversized T-shirts, orange juice can rollers, and fluffy bedroom slippers. Somehow, these spur of the moment get-togethers allowed us to see each other a little more clearly, without the weekday effort put into keeping up, being hip, making the right impressions. In the midst of reminiscing, I realized that reunions are very much like a “come as you are party”—especially as we get a bit older and more comfortable with who we are, where we have come from, and where we have landed. I became excited about attending the reunion.
I feel confident that many of my classmates and friends had similar reactions when they heard about the 40th. None of us are the same people who walked the halls of ORHS, cheered the Wildcats on crispy fall nights at Blankenship field, danced till midnight at the Civic Center, and applauded each other across the stage the night we graduated. We’ve married, had children, divorced, buried loved ones, survived life-threatening illnesses, found faith, lost faith, and with each experience we’ve changed. We all have scars, some visible, some not; but each wound, and every life experience, has made us the people we are, the people I’m so looking forward to seeing for the first time in many years.