Ten Years Later

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.

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.

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5 thoughts on “Ten Years Later

  1. Rahul says:

    I wasn’t even invited to my 10 year reunion. I found out after it already happened. As you can see I was pretty popular. One time the kids in the cafeteria even let me take their empty trays back up to the cleaning line.

    I was big man on campus.

  2. Lindsey says:

    #1…two week prior to your wedding is TOTALLY close enough to say you’re married. 🙂

    #2…I was actually sorry that I went to my 10 year reunion. There really isn’t a significant change in that short amount of time. People had finished up college and started families but most everyone looked the same…just slightly balder and slightly heavier. And the people that attended were not the people I hung out with in school so I think that was my biggest let down. If it had been a bunch of my friends…then i probably would have enjoyed it more.

    • laurengibaldi says:

      I kind of feel the same about it. I’m quite certain the majority of my high school friends won’t be there, so I’ll be mingling with people I didn’t really hang out with in high school. Plus, with Facebook now, there’s no mystery. We know what people are doing now. So – it should be interesting. I’m sorry yours was a disappointment!

  3. Linz says:

    Man, we had and have had so many amazing times together! I’m so glad that I knew you then and that we’ve been able to grow up together ever since. Reading this sparked a lot of memories for me of senior year and the summer after. I’m looking forward to seeing what else you write on the topic!

    • laurengibaldi says:

      I SO glad we met back in high school! You’re definitely one of the people I grew with. We’re both different in ways, but we changed into better people together, and thus our friendship never strained. And I LOVE that. I’ll start writing about high school soon. The thing is, every time I start, I realize that there are some moments I want to be kept there, concealed and immortalized in time. Like, oh, prom. Ha!

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