How a Reunion Can Reunite You With Yourself

My New Year's holiday was spent with my husband, daughters, and some of my oldest and dearest friends; two of whom have known me most of my life. We went to high school together, and we were just saying that our 30th high school reunion was coming up this year. (Yikes.)

As we were trying to navigate Netflix and Apple TV to find something to watch, I was scrolling through some of my yet-to-be-published posts on LinkedIn. I stumbled upon a blog post I had written after our last big reunion, and realized that not too much had changed in the last 4-1/2 years...

Last Saturday I went to my 25th high school reunion. (Yes, I'm that old. Stop snickering.)

When you go to these things, it's natural, of course, to ask your classmates about what they've been up to since you last saw each other. Which made me reminisce about what I was doing 25 years ago.

{Behold my '80s hair in all its glory.}

It was my senior year and I was busy being a well-rounded student. Between AP classes, sports and maintaining really big hair I had my hands full. I had always been part of student government, but rather than go for a class officer position I interviewed for a coveted student body post: Activities Director. Sounds good, right? Not exactly.

Even my high school adviser knew something I didn't — that event planning wasn't my thing (and truth be told, never would be... but that's for another post). Instead, I was gently persuaded to be the Publicity Chairperson. I wouldn't be planning the activities (that was left to my uber organized, detail-oriented friend, N.) but instead I would be writing about them. Promoting them. Telling stories about them. In fact, my adviser thought I'd be perfect for this role because she felt I had a natural writing style that would easily lend itself to the prerequisite teen column published weekly in our area's local rag.

Hmm...a weekly column? With my own byline? Where I could express myself? Cool! I accepted the gig and happily went along my way.

{One of my teen columns from the Tri-Valley Herald, circa 1986}

Each week I'd make the early-morning drive to hand deliver my typewritten columns (remember, this was 1986) and a few days later I would beam with published pride.

Funny how going to a reunion can reunite you with yourself.

As I chatted with my high school friends about what was next for me, I mentioned my blog and how I was thinking of (finally!) trying this writing thing.

  • M.J. loved the idea and thought it could be my own version of Eat, Pray Love (minus Julia Roberts — she hates Julia Roberts).

  • T. said that he remembered me as a girl who could do anything and to just go for it.

  • And (female) T. remarked on my amazing, positive energy — particularly when I was speaking about this project — and said it made her (someone who already has a lot of energy) feel electric.

Instead of leaving the reunion feeling like a recently unemployed loser, I came away even more determined to be true to my mantra and "make it so."

So allow me to say it publicly for the first time: I was, and am, a writer.

It just took me 25 years to acknowledge it. Thanks for the reminder, CHS '86.

Sometimes we receive the message we need just when we need to hear it. Hoping that my mini-reunion reminds me to always reunite with my true self.

#career #careerpath #courage #authenticity #creative #change #reallybigpurse #reunion #selfdiscovery #storyteller #transition #writer #transformation

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