An Open Letter To MCHS Class of ’93
In a couple months, we’ll be celebrating our 20 year class reunion. I know, I know…I look so young. Whateves.
And yesterday, I was honored to present for West Orange High School here in Orlando, the very alma mater of my wife, The Hottness. So, this means we’ve been talking about high school a lot around here.
My stepdaughter, Maddison, was in on one of the conversations. She posed a question I’d not thought about in a long time: “Do you think they know what happened to you?” Um, you mean that I got in a bad wreck and am blind? “Yes.” I thought about this for a second.
My graduating class had 100 people in it. I grew up in a county with less than a few thousand people. My wreck happened just a few months after we graduated. I went to my 10 year class reunion, my 15 year reunion and I still stay in touch with a whole bunch of those 100 classmates via Facebook. So, unless a classmate left town the minute after he/she tossed their mortar board and never looked back, I’d imagine they know I’ve got physical changes from high school. And, if they’re surprised by it? Doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I yam what I yam, as Popeye would say.
I think most everyone who has graduated high school has a bit of intimidation about reunions. I mean, we were all young and dumb and stereotypical in so many ways. I’ve gotta imagine some people, hell MOST people, would be concerned about how others will perceive who they are now as opposed to who they were when. Make sense?
Teenage years are such a time of insecurity and stupidity and embarrassment and, dare I say? Shame. Years later, I’m sure there are people who cannot look on a single positive thing that happened to them during high school. For some, those years were torture. For others, they were the golden days. For most of us, they’re probably mixed.
Our class has done a really good job of getting the word out on Facebook about the reunion. But, again, I’ve gotta believe there’s some level of intimidation to go back and interact with people from the past. So, I wrote this little ditty for my classmates in hopes we can all meet each other now, for the people we are now, not who we were in high school. I posted this to our FB page and I share it with you…
An Open Letter to MCHS Class of ’93:
June 8, class reunion. Please come
Twenty years is a long time. We have all changed. Please come.
If you’ve done a 180 degree turn from high school, or if you’re still the exact same person, please come.
If you’ve confirmed, are on the fence or have decided it’s just too painful, please come.
If you carry hurt, shame, embarrassment or insecurity from teenage years, we all do. Please come.
If you left in May of ’93 and never looked back or if you’re in the same house as back then, please come.
If you’ve been through addiction, divorce, loss, imprisonment or you’ve lived a squeaky clean and perfect life, please come.
If you’re swinging single, have the perfect spouse or partner or you’re worried your significant other won’t be accepted, please come.
If you’ve made millions or are still as broke as high school, please come.
If you’ve been around the world or haven’t left MoCo, please come.
If you’ve gotten fat, skinny, beautiful or you think you’re ugly, please come.
If you have two Ph.D.s or haven’t cracked a book since Mrs. Reynolds’ English class, please come.
If you were an athlete, nerd, geek, freak, farmer, punk, pothead, fundamentalist, musician, artist or thought you were a loser, please come.
If you were bullied, teased, nicknamed, harassed or ridiculed, please come.
If you were prom queen or you were unpopular, please come.
If you’ve had health problems, physical limitations,depression, anxiety, mental health issues or damage, please come.
If you’ve got it all figured out or you’re searching for identity, please come.
My hope and challenge to all is that we come into this reunion with an open heart and mind to accept our classmates for who they are today, not who they were back then. No judgement, no shame, no hate, no embarrassment, no guilt. We all want you there. Please come.