Volume Forty-three: Confessions From High School: 20 Years Later

Posted on 08/10/2010


Can you find me in this photo?

Well, here we are. I can’t believe that it’s been another week. I have to apologize for the brevity of my last post. It was a hectic week and I wanted to publish something. I was getting ready for my 20th Reunion at my high school and had to write a speech. For someone who is not a writer by profession, I sure do write A LOT, lol! Anyway, like I said, I went to my high school reunion this past weekend and I had a blast! Hell, I couldn’t even lie and say I didn’t because my cheesing face has been tagged on Facebook more times than the slow kid on the playground. Social networking is both good AND bad because I know I would have not let some of those pictures get out if I had the opportunity to screen them ahead of time. But, as they say, it is what it is. They wouldn’t have the pictures if I wasn’t posing for them – or drinking or being loud and rowdy or drinking (I think I said that already). On a side note, an open bar for any amount of time is a dangerous thing.

Alone in the Crowd

I enjoyed reconnecting with my classmates this weekend – more than I ever thought that I would. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see my old friends. It was just that I was pretty insecure in high school. Now, I found out this weekend that I did a great job of hiding my insecurity; but, believe me, I was. I was a scrawny little Black kid trying to fit in at a predominantly white high school in Neptune Beach, FL. I was smart (at least, that’s what they told me), popular (I think), and funny (as voted by my class). Yet, I was insecure and felt isolated at times. I never had a girlfriend, never went to prom, and missed grad night all because of my insecurity. So, there I was, viewed by some as being secure and confident; while, inside, I was afraid that someone would find out that my pompous palace was built on extremely shaky ground.

Just Live

For those of you familiar with my blog, I quote my mother a lot. As a child, she seemed crazy; but, as an adult, I find her true-isms to be more appropriate and applicable to life. One thing that she always said to me when I was comparing my life to hers was two simple words: Just Live. By that, she meant that those things that seemed so important to me then would not as I got older. In high school, I wanted to be one of the “cool kids”. I wanted to be the guy every girl wanted to date, the student every teacher wanted to have, and the person that everyone liked. However, as I have “lived”, I realized that only two things were truly important. I realized that what was most important was how I felt about myself, and how I treated others. Popularity and fame can be short-lived and fleeting; however, learning to love yourself and treating others with dignity and respect lasts forever. It is those things that outlive and outlast being prom king or queen, being voted most attractive or most likely to succeed.


Ironically, I had my corrective experience this past weekend. Yes, the “cool kids” were still the cool kids. And, yes, the pretty girls were still the pretty girls. So, you may be asking, what was different? Short answer: Me. I loved me more. I celebrated my triumphs and accepted my failures. And, by doing that, I took control of how I re-engaged with my classmates. I had only one thing to prove. I wanted to prove that I cared about who they are today – not who they were yesterday. Each of our lives had taken so many twists and turns that we would need a road map to sort them all out. But, for two days in Jacksonville Beach, FL we remembered who we were and fell in love with who we are. As I stated earlier, I had a blast this past weekend! It was probably the most fun I had with my classmates. The reason why it was the most fun was because this time, I can say that all of who I am was totally there.

That’s just my three cents…


“Peep my ver-na-cular cuz I don’t know how to act…”