20 Years Back to the Future...
While all the kids seem to be going back to school today on my Facebook timeline... I went back to school this weekend.
What a trippy experience it is to see classmates after 20 years of radio silence. Well at least up until a few years ago when we could “virtually” reconnect on social media. Even still, what a strange tradition we have as a society to revisit a time when we were just developing a sense of self. Merely seeing someone’s face or mannerisms can bring back experiences or stories we have long forgotten about. Truth be told, as a senior I never thought I would attend ANY reunion, when I was done with high school I was so ready to be long gone and stay that way. How did I get to a place where I would want to revisit that time in my life?
We all go through tough times in High School I think, no matter if you are a popular kid or an outcast, and maybe I’ve always thought of that time as awkward and sometimes traumatizing. But I have begun to understand the fact that I have always been my own worst critic. A friend recently asked me if I was ever bullied in High School, and my immediate answer was:
“I was never bullied I don’t think. In fact I was pretty insignificant, not in a bad way, just that I was friends with some popular kids, and friends with some not so popular kids. I wasn’t all that smart (the only Indian to never make it to a Spelling Bee) nor an athlete (basically made it to varsity tennis only because I was a senior, not for my skills) but I toed the line pretty well.”
Hearing my answer out-loud gave me pause. Why do I remember feeling, back then, that I was made fun of, or was treated like an outcast? Suddenly, it was like a Fight Club punch to the face I realized how I was my own worst bully (don’t tell anyone I talked about Fight Club; Rule #1). All those years of trying to figure out who I was and what I was about left me feeling beat up and ready to move on to the College chapter of my life.
Sidenote: I realize this is a little dark for a comedian’s blog, but I fully believe that these are things that make a comedian. If I can’t revisit and laugh at my own dark past then what good am I??
All this being said, I was nervous to reunite with those people who surrounded me on a daily basis during those childhood years. What will they be like? How will they treat me? Will there be stories of good times or bad times? And most importantly will they appreciate the fact that I finally got rid of my Unibrow????
Amazingly, it was so easy…and I found myself wishing we had a second night to reconnect, because once we were all thrown into the pot together, it was like seeing old family members. It was apparent many people came in with the same nervousness (maybe not unibrow nervousness) as me, and despite it all we were all in high school going through similar things with different groups of friends at the same time, and no one can take that experience from us. Annie, you said it best “I marvel at how people change and grow, and yet the essential essence of a person, their laugh and their mannerisms, are the same...”. There were so many I didn’t get a chance to chat with and many I wanted to chat with longer, I hope to get that chance in the future.
This weekend showed me that I have grown up a bit, and that teenager may now be an adult who is still her own worst critic, but one who is no longer insignificant... Shout-out to Newport High School Class of 1995.