First of all, hello. Happy summer! I've been nannying this summer so I've basically just come home and slept everyday. Kids are exhausting!
I've been thinking of writing this "Confessional" post for quite some time, but I've never had the motivation to do so.
Then, this morning, I was invited to a Facebook group for my 10 year high school reunion.
I was really good at being BEHIND my camera in high school.
When I was in high school, I was secretly gay, or as secretly gay as I thought I could be. I came out to my English teacher my junior year, and told some of my friends by senior year, but, for the most part, I thought I wouldn't be accepted.
When I look back at the time period, it makes sense. George W. Bush was president. The Prop 8 debate wouldn't pop up until my freshman year of college. Ellen had only been back in the spotlight for about 5 years. Same-sex couples celebrated "winning" civil unions.
This was also the time of MySpace message boards. I discovered the term "LUG" on one of them– "Lesbian Until Graduation." It was a derogatory term, but I figured I could be gay at college and straight at home. I figured after college and grad school I'd meet my dream man and marry within a few years of graduation. I couldn't even fathom the idea of being out to my peers from high school, let alone my family. Looking back at it, it's funny that I thought nobody knew– I would go to GSA meetings and sit strategically in seats that couldn't be viewed from the door or window. (I didn't want my younger brother to see me as he wandered the halls, waiting for me to drive him home after my club meeting.)
Classe de français, 2008. I BS'd a presentation on millennials, claimed Hillary Clinton called them the iPod Generation, and said they were self-isolating.
When high school graduation happened, I decided I'd cut myself off from all but a few close friends. I had already become distant in friendships with people I mistakenly thought wouldn't accept me. I went through massive deletions of friends from "the new MySpace," a site called Facebook. I distinctly remember keeping a few people on my friends list because I realized I'd still be seeing them at college and I hated confrontation.
I stopped talking to people I had considered good friends in high school because I was convinced they wouldn't accept me– or, worse, they'd tell their parents who would tell mine.
Some friends asked me why I deleted them, and, never being one who was good under pressure, I randomly made up some excuse about accidental deletions. (I also learned how to put people on limited profiles!)
I heard through the grapevine much later that some people were hurt and didn't know why I suddenly stopped talking to them. As a high school senior/ college freshman, I didn't know how to control my panic and anxiety about others finding out about me. I certainly didn't know how to handle friendships. It's no excuse, but simply the facts.
So, I'm sorry.
I'm sorry to the people I've known since middle school who I thought wouldn't accept me.
I'm sorry to the people who definitely would have accepted me, but I was worried my parents would find out through their parents.
I'm sorry I threw away years-long friendships in a state of adolescent panic.
I'm sorry for all the potential memories I threw away.
Almost 10 years later, I have reconnected with a lot of people. By reconnected, I mean added them on Facebook. (Oh, the irony.) I've thought about messaging specific friends from high school I lost touch with and explaining why, but then I've also thought about how I'm socially awkward as it is and writing "I'm sorry for cutting you out of my life ten years ago" is potentially even more awkward.
I am really sorry, though.
Also, I think it should be known that I was dead wrong on everything I thought 10 years ago.
My family is accepting, even my Grandma.
My friends are accepting.
Society is mostly accepting.
I did, however, meet the person of my dreams my last year of grad school, and we did get married a few years later. So, that part was right, minus the gender prediction of my spouse. 😉
So, this is my confessional. I'm sorry I isolated myself from so many wonderful folks from my middle and high school years.
I hope I'll see some of you at our 10 year reunion!