I was just informed that my 10 year high school reunion is scheduled for September 10th. A few things came to mind when I read it:
1) It’s FOURTEEN DAYS before my wedding. I guess that’s close enough to going back married, right?
2) I have a very limited amount of time to achieve my goal of becoming a published novelist before the reunion.
3) It’s really been ten years.
It’s weird, I’ve been reading the book Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan lately, and its been taking back to those early days of college with misty eyes and longing nostalgia. Now, getting this news, I can’t help but think back to high school. Who was I back then? How much have I changed?
How much has everything changed?
I didn’t have the Internet for my first two years of high school, and didn’t receive a cell phone until graduation. I had just started driving the previous October, and had never spent more than a week away from my parents. I was young, shy, with big bushy hair and contacts that didn’t give me a headache (as they do now). I cared deeply what others thought, but rarely voiced my own opinion. I wasn’t quite me yet – but I was happy. I had people who loved me, and that was most important. Especially in high school.
Because honestly, ten years ago the most important thing was friendship. At this point, I was already accepted to FSU. I was on my way to graduate, and prom was the only important thing on the horizon. And even that was more of a social gathering, than a romantic night. I held on tight to my friends, and went out with them every night. Be it someone’s house, Chuck-E-Cheese (where two worked), the mall, Borders, or just the neighborhood park, we were there. Living. Breathing. And all in the crazy mess of hormones and high school together. Hands held and eyes closed, we sped through the days, not wondering what would happen next, and not really caring. We lived in the moment, whether it was crying over a breakup with cookie dough, or arranging strategic games of capture the flag with water guns.
At 17, I was still figuring things out, still looking for more, and eager to embark on the next chapter of my life (yet still, scared to leave everything behind). I was good in every sense of the way, but I still drove fast and stayed out past curfew. I was invincible, in the way only a high school student could be.
So, to celebrate the date being set, this week I’m going to post a few stories from high school Lauren’s days. Before circus and Samir, before writing and teaching. I’m unlocking the diary, and remembering what it was really like to be 17: afraid, excited, confused, under appreciated (as we all were, right?), nervous, thrilled, and, well, young.