If I could go back and talk to my high school self I would say this. It does not matter. I was not one of those girls that had a great high school experience. I was the sporty husky girl in the crowd of skinny’s. There was a mean girl. One day she would like me and the other day she would not. The hard part was when she did not like you the others had to follow. Her opinion of me mattered so much at that time. Now I could not give a flying fig what people think of me. Don’t get me wrong…I want them to think I am a nice person. Good. Kind. Giving. Funny. I get friend requests on Facebook from some of the old high school peeps. My response…DECLINE! Why would I give you a window into my world when you made my high school years so awful. After high school, I went to a one-year Bible school called Word of Life. While I was there I found my value…my passion…my calling if you will. I realized I have a voice and something to say. I was no longer afraid of my own shadow or afraid to go against the flow. Give me a mic and I will rule the room! I had the chance to grow and become. I realized my value did not lie in the eyes of those who look at me…my values lies in the eyes of my creator.
I began to think about those girls and guys from high school. My first response was I hope all the girls are fat and I hope all the guys lost their hair. What can I say…I am human. Then I realized the girl in high school still comes out every once in a while. In my own insecurities, I try to find fault with others. The thing is, it really does not matter if the pretty girl is still pretty or fat. My husband thinks I am the most beautiful woman in the world. My family adores me. My little girl loves me like crazy….sometimes to the point of driving me crazy….but still I am her whole world! I have a job as a teacher and I am a GOOD teacher! I love my job. I love my students. I have a friend whom I met when I was 19 and we are still best of friends. I would not trade that for anything. Those 4 years in high school did not define me. It helped shape me into who I am. It made me realize what true friendship is. It made me thankful for what I have now.
Do I get some sort of satisfaction knowing the mean girl is on her 3rd marriage? Not really. It makes me a little sad for her. Makes me wonder what choices led to her current status. As far as I can tell the pretty girl is still pretty. She is not married for some reason. She works in a big city and seems to be doing well. Does that make me happy or sad? Neither. Those are her choices. Although I am thrilled to be married to my husband (we married later in life) I guess it is not in her cards at this moment. Good for her. She is living life in the fast lane. I only hope this is the life that brings her happiness. Her success or failure does not have any impact on me. The fact that she is still gorgeous does not make me any less pretty. Eventually no matter how old you get things are no longer perky and gray hairs are really under the dyed color. It’s all good! I may choose to grow old with grace while others fight it. Does not change my path nor make me less valued. To the bully who used to punch me when the teachers back were turned….come at me and see what happens now. Here in the light of day with everyone watching! I will not stay silent. I will NOT keep quiet. Punch me again and see what I do. You were and still are a coward to pick on those smaller and different than you. Last I heard you moved to Maine. I hope you are doing well but I also hope at some point you grew up and stopped picking on those around you. If I saw you on the street I would look you in the eye. We both know what you did!
I look back at my classmates and some I see are happy. Others are struggling. One guy lost his wife in a horrific accident. Makes me sad for him. The jock now coaches his son’s soccer team. Good for him. Are we friends. Not really. If I saw him would I say hi? Probably. My mom raised me to be polite. Would I go out of my way to hang out with people from high school…maybe. If for nothing more to show that I made it. My life is great. Do I have it all together…NO but does anyone? Am I happy? Yes. Am I productive? Yes. Am I raising my kid to be a functioning adult? Yes. Do I regret high school? No….but I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have made better choices. I would have branched out and made friends outside of my “approved social circle.” I would have laughed more and taken more chances. I would stand out. Shine! Be known as that girl who is friends with everyone. I would have studied more. I would have…I would have…I would have… Can’t change the past. The only thing I can do is let my life lessons fuel my future. I hope my successful future. But then again what is successful for me may not be what success looks like for someone else. That is fine. Why? Because it does not matter! We all have our own paths to walk and our own gifts to offer. Give your gifts freely. Walk your path with strength. Above all else learn the value you have in just being you!