reunion regrowth.

Recently I received an invite to my 10 year high school reunion. Okay, well technically it's an 11 year reunion but hey, we got there eventually.

When I was in high school I always felt like an outcast. I didn't have a ton of friends at my school. I never felt like I fit in. I wasn't asked to dances or invited to parties. I always felt like the vast majority of my classmates disliked me. Now whether that's true or just the misconception of a teenage brain I may never know. But either way, it's what I felt every day at my high school.

Throughout all of that I took comfort in the old adage that those who are "on top" in high school will likely peak shortly thereafter. By contrast, I was going to come back to my 10 year reunion and blow them all away. I would be in the best shape, have a killer job with an amazing salary, and (maybe) be married to someone gorgeous. For years I told myself that would be the case. I believed it.

Time went by and I forgot all about high school and my predictions about my own future. The names of classmates that seemed burned into my brain gradually slipped from my memory. Time moved forward and so did I.

Then I got a Facebook invite to the reunion.

And it all came back.

Suddenly I was just as insecure as I was back then.

My job isn't anything to write to anyone about. I'm not wealthy by any means. And don't even get me started on my weight.

I wanted to crawl under a rock and hide. I kicked myself for not doing what I swore I would do.

But then I thought about it some more and realized something. We all do the exact same thing.

Suddenly, we become desperate to impress people we haven't seen or thought about in years.

Why do we do that? Why do we need that validation that we've done well? I honestly don't know.

Here's the thing though. Life doesn't follow our predetermined plans. It just doesn't.

So no, my life isn't what I would consider impressive when I was 17. But that's okay.

I have amazing friends. I live in a beautiful apartment with an awesome roommate. I've traveled a good bit, and even spent a summer working in a foreign country. I'm a barred attorney. I've got a great church that I'm a part of. I get closer to my family every day; they support me in all that I do. I've overcome more obstacles than I can count.

And you know what? Maybe this is the motivation I need. Maybe this will be a catalyst for change.

Maybe that's what these reunions do (aside from reconnecting you with your past, obviously). Maybe they work as catalysts to re-examine your life, to take stock of where you are and where you've been. And if things are going well, maybe they just remind you of that fact and make you a little grateful. And if things aren't going well, maybe they incentivize you to make some changes, to do what you've been saying you would do for so long.

That's a beautiful thing.

So I'm grateful for this invitation. I'm grateful for the chance to grow. I'm grateful for the chance to check in with myself and with others.

So bring on the reunion. Bring on the awkward conversations with people you barely remember. Bring on the rekindling of old friendships we let die by choice or by accident. Bring on the nostalgia.

Bring on the whole thing.