NORMAN — For some, this might be a surprise. I only say that because it’s kind of a surprise to me. Somehow time sped up on me and next weekend I’ll gather once again with the Arkansas City, Kan., High School class of 1992.
It seems as if time stood still and I was just 18 only a few weeks ago. Well, that’s what my mind thinks. My body says differently. Bones are starting to pop. Muscles are starting to ache. And late nights are now dedicated for insomnia instead of studying or going out.
I wasn’t the top of the social chain in high school. I really don’t know where you would classify my status. Maybe somewhere in the middle. I wasn’t surrounded by cheerleaders and football players at a Friday night party, that’s for sure. I had the tendency to hang out more with the drama kids. My thick group usually skipped the party scene. Instead, we invaded someone’s basement to watch silly movies. Someone would usually say something funny about every five seconds and we all would laugh ourselves insane.
I was one of the lucky ones in high school. Every since an internship at my local newspaper my senior year of high school, I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I wouldn’t get paid that much, and I was OK with that. I knew the life of a journalist was often thankless, and I was OK with that, too.
I’ve changed over the 20 years. And, as I embark on my reunion, I reflect back on who I used to be. Thank goodness I’ve grown. Some days I wish I had grown less in certain areas, like my hips and my thighs. But I’ve grown in my spirit. I’ve grown in my faith and I’ve grown in my heart as well as my mind. When I was 18 I had a dream to marry a rock star, leave my small hometown and see the world. I’ve seen some of the world, but I didn’t marry that rock star. My parents are thankful for that. I’m thankful for that, too. Have you seen a rock star 20 years later? It’s not something I’d want to wake up to everyday, that’s for sure. And as for leaving that small town, well, now I can’t wait to go home. Even if it’s for a weekend. Even if it does mean I’ll be face-to-face with the football players and cheerleaders I was too afraid to befriend 20 years ago. Who knows, maybe next weekend I’ll grow even more.