After months and months of thinking about it, the invitation to my tenth high school reunion came on Friday. Mike taunted me by telling me that interesting things came in the mail that day, and, to his credit, I did have interesting things. But one fewer than he had declared, because the last interesting thing was simply an invitation to my high school reunion. Ten years, which is hard to believe. I looked at it and, after months of vacillating, quickly decided that I didn’t want to pay to spend money with people I wasn’t friends with the first time around. I spent a long time being bitter about that, but now I see that it’s okay that we weren’t friends. We shouldn’t have to pretend friendship just because we lived in the same town, went to the same high school. It reminds me of when I figured out that I didn’t have to be friends with someone just because he or she is a Christian. That doesn’t actually mean we have things in common, things on which to build a relationship. I didn’t get to know the things inside their hearts that make them who they are any more than they found out mine. Not to mention that I’m not the same person I was back then. I hope they aren’t, either.

The invitation was full of the sentiment and nostalgia you’d expect, and I’m sure the committee worked hard on it. But I think you have to be a different sort of person to look forward to your high school reunion. You have to be the sort of person who looks back at high school with some affection, who was positively affected by what went on there. And while I don’t claim to have hated every day of high school, I feel instinctively that the people who would attend our reunion probably aren’t the people I hung out with in the library during break. I worry about the things I would say to the people there, the grasping, needy parts of me that would come out in that situation.

There’s a part of me that would like to go and be successful and have a smart, good-looking husband, but those aren’t parts of myself that I like to encourage. If I’m going to go to a reunion in order to prove something, I’m going for the wrong reasons. Why should I feel the need to prove anything at all?

I have thought about this for a lot of years. The end of high school was much better than the rest of it, but the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. I wondered if I needed to go, to wear a fantastic dress, to have some kind of redemption. I think, though, in the end, not needing to go is the redemption I wanted after all.

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  1. By Full Statement on 8/29/2017 at

    Full Statement

    Redemption. – Through a Glass, Darkly