Apparently, my 20-year high school reunion is this summer. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it's been that long at all. Other times, it feels like it's been a lifetime. I'm definitely not going. Not just because it's 1,200+ miles away. Not just because it would put me in extremely close proximity to the rest of my family. Not just because there are only about 10 people from school I would even be the slightest bit interested in seeing again and half of them were in a different graduating class.
It's mostly because my high school years were such an unhappy time for me. School itself was no problem, and I had some great friends, but everything else in my life was a nightmare. I was miserable, suicidal most days and faking it the rest. I spent so much time living in my own head, I honestly don't know how I even managed to get out of bed sometimes.
School was an escape for me, if you can believe that. It was the only place I could go where I felt protected, where I didn't have to try to stay invisible. I still hid away a lot, but not from everyone. And it was so easy to pretend to be someone else, someone who liked herself and had opinions worth hearing and was smart and funny and nice. I could pretend to be the person I wished I was, and no one from home was around to point and laugh at my attempt.
I don't really recognize myself when I think about the person I was in high school. And that's a good thing. I can't even imagine what kids I knew then must have thought of me. I'm fine with not finding out though. The people that mattered already know everything now, whether they wanted to or not. The rest of them can think of me as they did in high school, if they think about me at all. I doubt if they'll even notice I'm not there.