Last weekend was my 20th Reunion (High School – I guess that has to be clarified. Apparently there are middle school reunions these days too.), and it got me thinking about perception.
For me, high school was a good experience. I was friends with a lot of wonderful people across the spectrum of clique-dom, many of whom are still in my life. Although I wasn’t in sports, I was in drama and creative writing classes, and was on the Newspaper staff.
Life at home wasn’t all that peachy for me though, and I became a little rebellious. I started ditching regularly, choosing to go to breakfast with friends, the lake, the Excalibur, or many other places, yet somehow I still ended up making good grades. I think I was able to separate what was going on at home with school, and I was able to channel my angst into more creative outlets thanks to some awesome teachers.
But, back to perception. I perceived myself to be an oddball. I dressed in fishnet stockings underneath ripped jeans with a black t-shirt and motorcycle jacket. That was some days. Other days it was my black converse with a red denim miniskirt and a black and green tie dyed shirt. My hair had a bright red streak in it, sometimes, when it wasn’t permed or crimped. Lord knows where I came up with those crazy ensembles.
Many of the people I hung around with were from different classes, or they weren’t able to attend the reunion for their own reasons, so I was kind of nervous about the whole thing. I joked with everyone that I was afraid they wouldn’t recognize me unless I was wearing some crazy outfit, or that they wouldn’t remember me (remember – I ditched. A lot.). But, what I found was interesting. People that I’d never even had a class with remembered me as quiet, sweet and nice. It was kind of weird to know that while I thought I was such a hellion, they thought I was “quiet, sweet and nice”, and were happy to see me.
It’s all about perception.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. You may think one thing of yourself, but there may be 100 people out there who think different.