When I graduated from high school in 1990, I recall that we all couldn't believe that when we met back up again in 20 years it would be the year 2010. We couldn't even imagine what the 2000's would be like. With anticipation for our futures and heads full of 18-year old arrogance and dreams we went our separate ways out into the big, wide world also known as REAL LIFE. Who knew that decades would go zipping by us and we would be staring our 20 year reunion in the face sooner than we ever realized! I was fortunate to be on the planning committee for our reunion and so I have been knee deep in the past for the last few months. Looking at pictures, explaining and defending my frizzy '80s hair and my spazzy colorful wardrobe to my children (it was in style, I PROMISE!!!), smiling as I poured over saved notes written by BFFs and past boyfriends. I dove into the deep end of nostalgia by getting out year books, old team pictures, dried corsages and acheivements accumulated by this girl of yester year. All of this stored away in a water-proof bin hidden under boxes of my children's hand-me-downs in the bowels of my basement. As I swam around in the memories and re-lived days gone by I couldn't help but think about the girl I was becoming back then, the girl that was being formed so long ago.
I was blessed beyond my imaginations to have a very happy high school experience. My family was wonderful, my school outstanding, and my relationships with friends and teachers filled with joy and strong bonds. I loved high school, and the bin of memories that I sifted through confirmed what was in the recollections of my heart. 20 years ago I was becoming the woman I am today. My appearance has changed (frizz is gone!); 4 babies have been birthed from my body; my heart has been broken into millions of pieces only to be restored into a stronger hopefully more humbler model, my address has changed yet I still reside in the same city; I am rooted in my role as mother and wife; I have life experiences I wouldn't wish on anyone as well as the kind that have brought blessing into my life; I have newer friends but am so lucky to still be close with a few girlfriends from the past - steadfast women and sisters who continue to influence my life just as they did when we were young. All this to say, that deep down, I am still Heather. Still me. Still driven and competitive, loyal and hard working, smiley and optimistic, rather play than study, never want to be left out and always willing to include everyone. The girl that is represented in my memory bin is the same girl that I wake up to everyday. An older, well-used model, but the same model nonetheless. And 20 years later I can honestly say I am okay with her; I actually kind of like her!
As our reunion drew closer and the waves of memories turned into conversations with other planning members, I got excited to re-connect and walk down memory lane with them. Friday night and Saturday were spent laughing at our memories, exclaiming over gray hair and family size, hugging necks that had been hugged before, introducing spouses, grieving class members who weren't there, excusing past indescretions, forgiving years that had passed too quickly to remember that we promised to stay in touch. It was such a fun time followed up with the hope that things like Facebook and email will keep us connected until our next get-together. Here's to the next 20!!!
As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
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Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.
This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” -Shakespeare-Hamlet