Do I Recognize You? I Barely Recognize Myself.

Ten years ago, I finished high school, with high hopes, my parents having even higher hopes, relieved to be out and thrust in a new world. My family was tightknit at the time and much supportive at the beginning of my journey into the world, out of their home, into the rigours, twists and challenges of an Ivy League education and out of the rote schedule of high school, band practice, swim practice, work, theater rehearsal, and goodness knows what else.

As for me, I was happy to be out of an oppressive social environment and ready for a clean slate.

I held hands with my closest friends during Senior Week, making crazy “Hola Chicos!” (we all took Spanish all throughout high school) signs and enjoying a quiet week in an oceanfront condo on Ocean City, NJ. We were dubbed the “Jersey Five” the only ones to spend our Senior Week in New Jersey; the others spent their time in Ocean City, MD or further south. However, we wanted tranquility and peace instead of the massive crowds, and that’s what we got.

That fall, we all headed off to university, save for my one friend Daria, who took a year off to work and save some money prior to starting college closer to home. I settled in Philadelphia, my first week or so settling in, and meeting my first roommate. Then 9/11 hit. Our world changed forever.

And over time, my life as I knew it, changed forever.

Fast forward ten years.

I got my undergraduate degree, survived a career change (and a half), and worked in the trenches for largely six years

But as the dust has settled and I’ve gotten back in contact with folks from undergrad, at the same time, I’d like to catch up with the crew from high school. People have changed, and times have changed. And there’s a part of me that wants to see how Lancaster County has changed, even if I’m not welcome in my parents’ home.

This fall, I will be one of a handful of people to help organize our school’s ten-year reunion. Much will have changed amongst us.

No longer do I have the animosity towards my old classmates. I look forward to reconnecting and can’t wait!

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