Yes, I did it. While on vacation in Minnesota last week I attended my 10 year high school reunion. After leaving campus in 1999, I said I would never go back, and yet, there I was, surrounded by familiar faces from my childhood. A combination of rampant curiosity and a "why not?" attitude drove me to do it, and I'm happy to say I don't have any regrets. Between seeing old friends and reliving old memories, I actually enjoyed myself.
One of the biggest surprises of the night came in the form of a time capsule. I had no recollection of this project, but apparently all the '99 grads received envelopes that we filled with whatever we thought we'd like to see in our late twenties. Mine contained a variety of fun little treasures: high school photos, a movie ticket stub, a semi-love note from an ex. But the best thing of all was the message I wrote to myself about the next stage in my life. In addition to talking about my excitement over starting college and getting out of high school, I wrote that I wanted to marry someone "whose job allows us to travel the world." Sheesh. Kids say the darnedest things. Ten years later I'm pretty pleased I got to do the traveling thing, and especially pleased I did it all by myself.
We like to think we change so much after high school. We think we'll go to the reunion and show everyone what different people we've become. Wait until they see me now! But you know what? Standing in that room filled with former classmates, I felt like we hadn't changed one little bit. At least not in any fundamental way. The shy kid was still shy, the super involved kid was still super involved, the crazies were still crazy, the ones you enjoyed talking to you still enjoy talking to, and the ones you avoided (and who avoided you in return), well, time doesn't make any of you change your minds. As for me, I thought the reunion would reinforce my belief that I've become a completely different person from the one in I see in my high school photos, but that didn't happen at all. Turns out, I'm still the girl who wants to travel the world.