Monday, April 25, 2011

High School and Loving Yourself

My high school reunion was last summer, 10 years gone by. I didn't attend. Didn't even consider for a minute that I would. I found out after from the few people I stay in touch with that ridiculous things were said about me since I wasn't there. Awesome- and *that* is the reason why I didn't attend my high school reunion. There really wasn't anyone that I actually wanted to see.

Harsh? Naw, like most teenagers, high school was stressful and the people who attended the reunion are those who stayed behind. And didn't change. I never would have guessed that some people just will never mature past 18 years old... how is that even possible?

I attended grade primary until eight with the same 26 classmates and grades nine to twelve in a high school with 400 students. My graduating class was 90, one of the largest in recent years. Needless to say, variety and choice in friends wasn't really an option.

Obviously my experiences way way back then have shaped who I am today. Despite the fact that I am just becoming more confident and comfortable in who I am with each year that goes by, those difficult years between grade 5 and 12 (yep, I was a favourite bullying target for a long time) stay with 'emotional' me.

A few things I wish I could tell elementary and high school me:
- Those girls are jerks. Give it a few years and they won't matter anymore.
- I wish I could morph my confidence and 'take no shit' attitude into 12 year old me.
- Reading IS cool. Being smart is true fabulosity. All that reading will seriously pay off in a wicked University undergrad and master's degree. Trust me.
- Ditch the 'best friend'- see following point:
- Rooming with your high school 'best' friend in residence is not a good idea. At least you'll discover what a real friend means.
- Trust me, guys will think the fact that you're a Trekkie and Sci-Fi, Fantasy girl uber cool. (at least the interesting guys). Don't hide who you are.
- The interesting people, those worth knowing, will like you with your sincerity, emotional sensitivity, intelligence and passion. It's just that people worth knowing don't attend your high school.

- You will make amazing friends and meet the most interesting people.
- You are beautiful just how you are.

The best decisions I made as a pre-teen, teenager:
- Reading during lunch breaks instead of trying to survive being made fun of by my class in an effort to be liked. They're all mostly still jerks and never were worth my time anyway.
- Waiting for drinking and sex. Virginity was my flag and boy was that a good idea.
- Never smoking weed. Although I have nothing against it; singing was my emotional outlet and smoke damages vocal folds.
- Leaving the province for university. As most of my high school classmates went to Halifax or Université Ste Anne, it would have been like a slightly larger version of high school. A provincial buffer was perfect.

What amazes me is how confidence really does arrive the older you get. You couldn't pay  me to be 19 again, or even my early twenties. I love my little laughing creases, my wrinkly thumbs and fingers and my 'woman' thighs.

Even a recent short 'cyber bullying' on twitter wasn't enough to transport me back to that place where I would have just smiled meekly and agreed. Instead, I stuck with my opinions, stated that I felt a bit ganged up upon and wished everyone all the best at the CASLPA conference.

(quick poll: would you tweet during a professional research/educational training presentation or talk?)

Has yoga helped with these moments? I'd have to say yes, although yoga hasn't been enough. I have sent positive thoughts and healing energy, dedicating some practices to people who have hurt me in the past. Yoga has helped me breathe through anxiety and insecurity. The right yoga class has also helped me connect and love my body the way it is.

As we all move through the spiral of life, like the Tower card in Tarot; change can be scary but is always accompanied by growth. Yoga has helped me choose when to spiral inward and when to spiral outward.

article and photograph copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. This is a beautiful post
    and will mean a lot to so many.
    Well written!!

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I see a lot of myself in this post. I have a 10 year high school reunion this year, and I don't think I even got invited. I am happy you have found your niche and are happy.

  3. I feel like we are kindled spirits. I spent my middle school years reading in the library during school dances, and pinching my sides after girls said I had serious "wiggle hips". I was confused and at times hoping I would bloom into what everyone else wanted me to be.

    Similar to you I grew year after to year to realize those kids were wrong. I was beautiful then and now and also that we were all very different people then.

    Sometimes I wish I could re-met these people now as an adult, as a person that has control over my own life and is happily living a very genuine existence.

  4. I could say SO MUCH about this...but will spare you, LOL. Anyway, great post, and I totally feel the same way. My 20 year reunion is coming up in 2014 - yikes, time flies. I never went to the 10 year, though, and won't go to the 20 year. I changed schools every year and never really fit in.

    I wish, like you, that we could back and tell ourselves a few comforting thoughts like these. I also think it would be nice if we lived in a culture that made virginity and sobriety "cool". It is so hard to deal with at a high school age, and I feel lucky I never had to deal with any of those things! Phew!

  5. a lot of the insecurities i had in high school have passed away with time. i feel more confident now than i ever did. so far life just gets better as you get older.

  6. Oh high school...I agree with you, I would never wish to go back to being 19 or even in my 20s. In middle school, I was the "4 eyed brace face" of the class and was abandoned by my "best" friend of 5 years because I wasn't cool enough anymore. High school was hell, I even dumbed myself down to try ti fit in, when it didn't work then I completely rebelled and delved into the goth world.

    I was very much a reader, sci-fi, horror. It was my refuge and with dark outer appearance kept me at the centre of most ridicule.

    Like you as I grow older I have come to realize how wrong they all were and that they did it because of their own insecurities. Doesn't make it right but at least I can begin to forgive and shake off the cloak of darkness I wore for so long.

    I don't know if we even had a reunion. If so I was obviously not invited! Even I was I probably wouldn't have gone.

  7. I love, love, love this post! Rock on and thank you for sharing! I stayed far away from my 10 year too.
    I often feel the same way and when those old insecurities creep in (as they always do) I often find "now" me talking to the "teenage" me to cool down and let go. Thanks goodness for yoga, living, learning, and growing.

  8. amen, my sister! i didn't go to my 10th either - why would i want to revisit the past and see people who i don't keep in touch with, AND pay to do it?! this year is my 20th and it's the same thing. funny as facebook has been invented since the last reunion, and for the time i was active on fb i got so many invites from HS folks who, when invited to get together, were always too busy, then didnt understand when i de-friended them. why would i pay $60 to have dinner at a crappy tavern where i could go for $10 on another night and not see the people who teased me all through grade school because i was smart and wore glasses? again, amen for writing this - and the advice to self as well. :)

  9. Oh the joys of high school...I didn't go to my 10 year reunion either, even though I think I did actually enjoy my high school experience and still have a large chunk of my social circle who are from high school. BUT there are certainly a lot of people who have yet to change and who will never change--most of those that I was friends with it took five years to totally "lose" contact with (I'm TOO nice people tell me...) and I've enjoyed the five year interlude hence why I didn't feel the need to go see most of them at the ten year. ;) I'm glad you didn't go to yours either and expose yourself to such negativity and I'm sorry someone had the nerve to utter anything behind your back. Keep loving who you are---because I'm 100% sure that woman is fabulous! ;)


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