So this post is about 8 months late, but I still believe what I believe. My reunion was in August 2015, and I didn’t go.
I didn’t have the greatest high school career, it was hard for me. I was the weirdo, the one with depression (in a small town with 1 or maybe 2 psychologists you can imagine how well that went) and I had no idea who I was or where I was going. I had no idea how to vocalise my feeling or express myself, and I was left with many scars (physical and emotional ones) and nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.
My reunion was in August over the long weekend, and while I had a lot of notice, have you seen the prices of flights from Cape Town to Nelspruit? Even if we flew to Joburg, it’s still a good 4 hour drive and with a wedding looming, financially it wasn’t viable. That was a reason, and a good reason, but not the main reason.
As I said, I hated high school. Sure, I have 2 very good friends to show for it (both met in high school) and of course my best friend from primary school and I were in the same school, but for the most part I hated it. I’m not blaming anyone, it was what it was, and it made me who I am today, and that person and I are on really great terms, but back in the day I was miserable (more so than the average teenager I’d wager).
As a small town we had a very distinct hierarchy, it was something like: popular kids – kids who slotted in everywhere and were well-liked – everyone else – weirdos. I fell into that last category. I was a hot mess in high school, I fell for the wrong boys who didn’t know I existed and made myself more miserable, and I tried to climb my way to the top of the social ladder, never realising I didn’t want to be there nor belonged there. It’s nobody’s fault, not even my own, what does a 16 year-old know about life? I’m nearly 30 and still think “what the actual eff am I doing here?”.
I felt no need to fly all the way to Nelspruit to make nice with people who helped make me miserable. Is that a bad thing? I’ve got to an age where standing in a room with people I (barely) knew a decade ago and make small talk, and discuss our lives gave me no joy. I need no validation from these people, or anyone for that matter. I didn’t want to have to fake niceties, or hold back any responses to comments made about myself, my (now) husband, my tattoos, or what I do for a living. I feel no need to be validated by strangers I hated a decade ago. Maybe that sounds cold, but that’s the way I feel.
Today, and hopefully for the rest of my life, the only validation I need is my own.
At the end of it all I’m glad I didn’t go. I saved time, money, and frankly, I would have gained nothing from going. I did, however, gain 3 days at home with my family, and some desperately needed time off. All in all do I regret not going? Not in the slightest.
Hugs & sloppy daxie kisses