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School reunion! Glad I went in the end.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It’s been twenty years since I left what is locally called secondary education. High school in the US. I left school about 40 kilos lighter than I am now and with a lot more hair. The girls(women are so much better at this) organised a reunion ala Facebook as many people had emigrated or moved out of the town I lived in. I had recollections of a lot of skinny people with bad hair cuts including my own .
Over the years I’ve learned to accept what I can’t change and change what I can. Wisdom is knowing the difference. There’s nothing I can do about the hair loss but the weight that I can control but didn’t really try up until last year. I pretty much sat on my ever fatter ass. There was a time and I’m ashamed to admit it but I couldn’t see my toes if I rested my chin on my chest when standing. I’m still a lot bigger that I was leaving school but ironically I never ran 10 k in my life until recently. I run 5 k pretty regularly but I’m still carrying about 20 kilos I need to lose. Although the 5 k now is pleasant run not an ordeal like it was at the start . (couch to 5k is a god Send). I ran three 10k this year and intend to keep training for next.
However I was still pretty self-conscious prior to going. I was supposed to go with a buddy of mine but he backed out. So I was left with a choice of not going or going on my own. You would think that after 20 years of living, getting married, working and having to deal with people that I would have had a little more courage than that. I’m a self-confessed geek and at 16 had the social skills of a brick. I came out of my shell in college. I have to meet new people in my job a lot and that doesn’t bother me. I hadn’t really figured why I was reluctant to go.
Then the realisation dawned on me that the reason I was reluctant was that I had a real issue with my weight and the way that people would judge me based on it. I could already hear the whispers “hes really let himself go” etc in my head. I didn’t want anyone in my class who I hadn’t seen since leaving school to see “fat Sean”. I didn’t know if I was more bothered about that or the fact that Id let my weight get out of control or even being bothered by what other people think who haven’t seen me in twenty years. Of course I should have been more annoyed about not looking after myself more than what anyone else thought but that would have rational .
In the end I decided that I’d go on the basis that as I was on my own I could leave quietly if I didn’t like it. Id already agreed an exit strategy with my wife who was going to text me about two hours into the reunion. I could make my apologies and leave with some excuse. I knew that the girls had put in a lot of effort to organise the reunion and they need the ticket sales to cover the costs of the hotel so I bought a ticket.
So I went made a few jokes about my own weight and no one was bothered. It was great to catch up with everyone after twenty years. I’m glad a I went I had a ball .

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