Recently, some of my high school classmates created a Facebook page dedicated to my high school class (good old class of '76). It's been interesting to see the page, and to catch up on what many of them have been doing. It's also been interesting to see some of the folks on there who I never knew - even now there are a couple who I have absolutely no recollection of (not telling who they are, either). I guess in a class as large as ours, there are bound to be people you didn't know. I don't remember exactly how many graduated from the Bradley Central High School class of 1976, but I'm guessing it is somewhere around 500.
One of the people in the class posted that she wished she had been more involved, and felt like a nobody.
I remember going to school at Bradley High. I had moved from England a couple of years earlier, still had a little bit of an English accent (and a lisp for goodness sakes!), and was in a high school full of people who'd gone to school with each other for most of their lives. To make matters worse, when we had moved to the U.S., I'd skipped the 6th grade, going from the 5th to the 7th, so I was a full year younger than anyone else in my class (except Denise Massengail, didn't she also graduate at 16?).
Point being, for my entire high school career, I felt like an anomaly, never fitting in with any of my peer groups - sure, I had good friends (Doug, Jeff, Artie and Bryan), don't get me wrong, but I always felt like a fish out of water. Couple that with standard teenage angst, and a couple of unrequited crushes (you girls know who you are), and I didn't really enjoy my high school years.
Even years later, at my 10 and 20 year reunions, as excited as I was to go, I still found the same groups of people hanging with the groups they had hung with back during school. I didn't enjoy those reunions, and didn't attend the last one we had.
It wasn't until today, when I read what my classmate posted, and the comments that everyone made after, that I realized that my feelings were not unique. As a matter of fact, I would bet that those feelings of insecurity are standard fare for high schoolers, always have been, and always will be.
Now - my teenage insecurities haven't affected my life. I'm fairly well adjusted (those of you who know me better not say a word), have been married for 28 years to a Cleveland High school graduate (Lisa Gobble), and have two beautiful daughters who thankfully look like their mom.
Life is good, and yes, it was me who threw the M-80 in the band hallway, and yes, it was me who streaked the R.O.T.C. banquet. Both years.