Monday, September 26, 2011

My High School Reunion

Kelly Rhiannon Mills (me) Left

A facebook profile has been created for the Wyoming East High School class of 2002 today and this event has sucked me straight into a time warp. In my head tonight, I'm not a housewife, mother of four, struggling writer trying to push her work in the same fashion that pimps push their hos (lol), or anything that I am now. I'm not worrying over bills and deadlines. I'm in high school, I'm seventeen again and terrified that my folks are going to get all crazy about a C on my report card. And the ash tray full of cigarette butts with red lipstick all over them under my bed...Did I mention that the ash tray is actually a beer can cut in half?

This reunion has got me thinking about my life now and then.

Then, I was extremely self conscious. I was struggling with my low self esteem. I hated the person that I was because I didn't have a clue that it was okay to actually like yourself or the person you were, much less that it was okay to be a little bit different and just be yourself. I didn't like the fact that I was such a nerd, but now I own it. I didn't like the fact that I was a big girl, but now I'm a raging proud BBW (if you don't know this already, BBW stands for Big Beautiful Woman).

I have come a very long way and it wasn't easy to learn to like myself. At all...

What I didn't know then was that I wasn't alone. Just about everyone else I went to high school with was struggling with things too. Maybe not the exact same things, but things nonetheless.

For the sake of a trip back in time, I have given a lot of thought to this reunion.  I have quite a few months ahead before it actually takes place, but I have to admit that I'm a little bit excited to see a few people.

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not really a horrible, scary, freaky person.  Okay, just a little freaky, but not too much. I've always been the way I am. Piercings are a joy to me like ice cream is a joy to others. Writing isn't a hobby for me anymore, it's my LIFE. In high school, I was a nerd. Yeah, feels good to say that and not feel horrible about it. I'm still the same person that I was then, only slightly different. I look on the outside the exact same as I did then, only a slightly distorted version of my former self.

Me, now...Innocence lost, I suppose lol.

I loved to read back then and that hasn't changed. I also wrote a lot of short stories back then, some of them I'd love to still have, but unfortunately, I don't know whatever became of them. I also like the same music now as I did then. That hasn't changed either.

So what has changed?

For a start, I don't really apologize for much. In high school, I was extremely weary of other people and felt intimidated easily. Not anymore. Unless I've been wrong, I won't apologize for anything I say or do. My mouth and mind are directly connected and I don't censor myself. If you are a friend on facebook, you'll know that much is true.

In high school, I also felt like a member of the "weaker" sex. I don't feel that way now. Where I am in my life is a place where I've decided to OWN my femaleness. I may be a woman, but I'll be damned if I can't make it in a man's world. No man will ever tell me that I can't do something because I'm a girl. That being said, I still think it's very chivalrous and sweet for a man to open a door for a woman. I also think that it's very romantic and chivalrous for a woman to open a door for a man.

I stand up for myself and the things I believe in a lot more now than I did then. I believe in gender equality, animal rights, and many other things that I wouldn't speak out about when I was younger because other people were judgy. Judge me all you want now. I still won't apologize for the way I think and for the way my mind and heart work. Remember...there's a direct line from my brain to my mouth lol.

My goals in high school were to graduate, go to college, move to San Francisco, and open my own bar/bookshop. I never made it past the graduate high school part. I got married the summer before my senior year, had four kids, stayed right here in Wyoming County, and instead of opening a bar/bookshop, I'm a stay at home mom who writes all the time. So much in fact that I have two novels out and am getting ready to release a novella (The Demon King, KnightWatch Press) in the next little bit. Also, I am co-editing an anthology with another really talented writer and am very excited to make the transition from writer to anthology-putter-togetherer. Yes, that's a word because I say it is...

In the last ten years, I've performed miracles, too. I've given birth a grand total of FIVE TIMES. One of those births took place during Christmas break of my senior year in high school. Another one of those births resulted in the greatest tragedy my life has known thus far, the death of my 10 week premature son, Anthony. I still believe that Anthony's death is part of what drives me today.

Allen, Corra, Tristan, and Allysa
Sept. 6-Sept 9 2005
I have decided that I definitely want to go to this reunion out of curiosity, if for no other reason. I want to see how everyone is doing, what they've become, if anyone has gone gray or bald yet, and to say a quick hello. I certainly hope I'm not the only one who's accumulated a few gray hairs...I have THREE of them. I plan on dying them before the reunion, though...

I am positive that the reunion is going to make me temporarily self conscious and give me temporary low self esteem again. This part is not a part of the event that I look forward to, but I remain confident that my newly acquired sense of self is going to help me get past those feelings.

Confident, unapologetic Kelly. Or, should I say, Rhiannon Mills.

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