High School was the probably the worst four years of my entire life...no joke. I moved to the area in 7th grade. There were already established cliques. It's an Orange County thing. The kids who went to Junior Lifeguards, played volleyball at the Bay Club, and they surfed. Well I came from Los Angeles County, and this was an entire new world for me. I traded my tennis shoes for flip flops and Birkenstocks. I got a beach cruiser. But I never learned to surf. Probably one of my downfalls. I had a small group of friends through school, but I was never really part of that group.
I dressed well, but I was a little chunky. In Orange County terms, I was HUGE. Looking back, I wasn't that big. I've seen the pictures. I didn't go to dances, well I went to Prom, stag. I played softball for a few years. But that's about it. I hung out with my friends, because really I didn't fit in with the rest of the crowd. Because I swear, the cliques were established at birth, probably at play groups on the sand.
I went to a local college, joined a Sorority and never looked back. But with the invention of Facebook, it's all coming back. I'm seeing people, pictures, and comments from events that happened sixteen years ago. Wow, sixteen years ago I graduated high school. I've come into contact with these people at children's birthday parties, through other friends, and after talking to people on Facebook. I love to see what kind of jobs that they ended up in, whom they married, what their kids look like.
But what I've realized now is that most of these people, I like as adults better. When we were in junior high and high school, it was about their parent's money and where they lived. Now, we've all graduated from college, etc and have our families. We have a lot of the same issues.
I work near the city I grew up in. I'm seeing more and more people move back there. They want to raise their children there. They want to be close to family. I run into them daily. Especially while working. It kinda freaks them out to see Julie in the police uniform. But really, I've had great conversations. I felt like a complete outsider when I was in school, but people do remember me. Sometimes, I wish I engaged in things a bit more. Gee, if I had it to do all over again..well, that's a whole other post.
But really these all came from a chance meeting last night. I ran into a high school classmate at a blog meet-up. No, she is not a blogger. But she just happened to be at the same establishment that I was at. We sat outside and talked for ten minutes. I was completely relaxed and it was not superficial. We discussed work, family, and people we were mutual friends with. We had a great laugh and talked about discussing things again.
So really, I might not have all these fabulous stories of growing up, as the fat girl, in the non-popular group. I am a great adult. I make good conversation. I love chatting with people and I'm definitely more approachable now. It takes a lot of the regrets away. Because I truly love my friends in my life right now, they are my family, and my network.