One of the highlights of 2014 was attending my 20th year high school reunion. Yeah I know I look too young to have graduated that long ago. I was smart and they skipped me quite a few times...ok not true lol. I discovered so much about myself over the three days of spending time with the people I grew up with recalling the good ole days and catching up on where life has brought us to now. As I reflect on the year, going to the reunion had the most influential effect on my year. I hadn't been back to any events at Plaquemine High since I graduated. I take that back - I went to visit my aunt's class in 2005 to talk about pursuing non traditional careers. Other than that I hadn't been back. This may not seem abnormal - when I was discussing going back with my friends who grew up in larger cities, they never even considered going to a high school reunion because they don't recall their high school friends or lives. Since I'm from Plaquemine, Louisiana (and just for clarity, that's the city not the Parish), the people I went to high school with were my true peers. We literally grew up together. I went to pre school with these people and with the exception of a transfer student here or there, we sat in the same classrooms from first grade through twelfth! Nothing ever made me and my friends fall out-it wasn't that type of thing. We all went to college and stayed in touch for a while, but it wasn't the same. Now that I was at college I had so much more to do. I was in so many clubs/organizations, I worked a work study job and an off campus part time job, my family literally moved away while I was in college - my life was changing and keeping in touch wasn't as easy. (Truth is it became a pattern-I've moved A LOT over the past 20 years and whenever I relocate, I have to start again and many of my aces become strangers because I'm just not that good with staying in touch...)
So I was a bit nervous about the reunion. I wondered if it would be awkward seeing everyone again. I mean it had been literally twenty years since I had seen my former best friends! I was also nervous about who I had become - enter the DaVida Drama (insert dramatic dun dun duhhhhnnnn music). See although the reality is that I was scared to death to see my peers. I mean I used to be pretty cute and was definitely slim-code for super skinny like before I got these current hips lol. I had a nice smile, REALLY amazing hair (except that time I chopped it off in the 8th grade which these people would recall so I couldn't go with bad hair!) and back then I was in a power couple! Like totally on the high school level but we literally won best/couple like all the time lol. And now I haven't had a real boyfriend in dayum near as long as the reunion. Plus my friends were super intelligent and we were all competitive! We did not play over grades and we all had big goals for ourselves when we graduated. I wondered if they'd get where I was on this artistic path...would they see me as a failure?!?! I was S-C-A-R-E-D!
Then it hit me. I was going HOME. These people knew me. They BEEN knew I was scared lol. But what I now knew was that I was so much stronger. Oh don't get it twisted, I'm not saying their opinion didn't matter, it mattered a lot - I had to go get the super duper press for my hair and even got my sister and her friend to do my makeup and styling that night to make the focus on the hips not the belly fat! S E R I O U S! LOL but I was no longer afraid to do things as I had been growing up - partially because I was free from the threat of getting beat or super punished! I was grown and I had grown up a lot over the 20 years. More than scared to see them I was excited to see who they had become and how they had grown. I remembered their dreams and I wanted to see if they were coming true!
Going to my 20th year reunion became one of the turning points of the year for me and I think in retrospect, probably my life. We had a lovely time, I saw people I hadn't seen in 20 years. We'd all changed but not really. We were still deep down who we were then. Of course life had happened but everyone was good - REALLY GOOD! It reminded me that I didn't grow up friendless in some small town finally escaping to Hollywood to pursue my dreams which is the melodramatic story that plays around in my head on my bad days. Going home for that reunion reminded me of the truth. I grew up around some pretty amazing people who have grown into even more amazing people with families, careers, and lives that make our small town proud. Going home reminded me of so many great memories as well as my childhood desires. I've wanted to tell stories all my life. Going to that reunion helped me make the decision to come back to L.A. and give my dream another chance...