In 2006, myself and three other people helped organize our 20th High School reunion. We met multiple times over a one year period… tracking down grads, setting up a website, booking venues, collecting money, designing party favors, and decorating the hall. It was a lot of work…but also very rewarding!
Along with planning our reunion we set in motion an effort to post-humously graduate our classmate, Vinod Thomas, who died in the Air India Disaster the summer before grade twelve. That June, we attended Halifax West’s High School graduation… walked across the stage, and proudly accepted his diploma amid a standing ovation of new graduates! We gave the school a check for a few thousand dollars for a scholarship fund in Vinod’s name, raised by the class of 1986 to honour our young friend who lost his life too soon.
It was both an amazing graduation and reunion! The entire experience one I never wanted to forget…until the next morning when, with the exception of Vinod’s graduation, I’d wished had never taken place.
The morning after the party folks began posting their photos on Facebook and each of us headed into the albums to relive the fabulous weekend of rekindled friendships. In one album there was an unflattering photo of me that I’d not realized was taken… with a caption on the bottom stating simply… “Seriously WTF!”
I knew what it meant.
In the twenty years since I’d walked out the doors of our high school I’d gained a hundred pounds. The once tall, slim girl (who ironically went through her school years believing she was fat) was nothing the way folks remembered. After 20 years, I certainly wasn’t the only one who’d changed however on that awful photo of me there wasn’t a “thanks for helping plan this wonderful event” or “It means so much that you helped honor Vinod in such a wonderful way”! NO… under the photo of me it said What the Fuck!
Here’s the thing, no one judges me more than I judge myself. I strive at all times to be a good person. I screw up, but my intentions are always there. I’m a wonderful mom… I was a good wife… I’m a fabulous daughter… a caring sister and friend. Yet for some, it simply doesn’t matter. There are people who will judge us not for what we do and how we act but how we look. It’s one of the things I disliked about high school to begin with, and one of the main reasons so many young people struggle to get through their teen years.
I will never meet up to the expectations of a few.
How sad I feel for them.