The reunion.

Oh. My. Goodness. It’s almost Christmas. This is the holiday I start gearing up for in October (and I know many of you hate me for that. Sorry I’m not sorry).

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Thanksgiving. All the food and family. Love it. And then you have Blackout Wednesday. And if you’re from a small town like me, you know your entire high school (whether they’re of age or not) will be getting sloshed at the local bar.

And that’s where this journey begins. At my local bar. The only bar in my hometown. I felt grabbing a drink or two with some friends sounded like a pretty good evening. I’d be ok with maybe running in to some people I haven’t seen in a while. But as I walk into the bar, I see people I have not seen in 6 years. And as they stumble up to me and slur every word, I realized I was not prepared for this.

When I was in high school I was nice to everyone. I really cared what everyone thought of me. And I wanted everyone to like me. I saw quite a few of my friends change my senior year of high school and into our freshmen year of college. And that’s when it hit me. You don’t have to be buddy-buddy with everyone. Not everyone has to like you. I started to slowly drift away from some of those so called “friends”. I wanted to go to college to meet new people and not be tied down by my high school friends. I still stayed in contact with people from high school…some of those people mean the world to me. But I was not about to be fake and pretend I wanted to be friends with people who I felt like were the same way.

So as I run into people that haven’t even crossed my mind in the last 6 years I realize that this was truly not my scene.

It hit me that I didn’t want to be buddy-buddy with them. I didn’t want to act like we were friends. I could care less if they liked the “high school Ashlyn” and hated the “grown-up Ashlyn”. I’m happy with my life. I love my friends I have now and I truly care about them. But these people, I just couldn’t do it.

I remembered hearing a speech at a graduation about not changing who you are. At the time I thought, “I won’t change. I just know it. If I do, it will just be a little.” And then I went to college. And I changed. Quite a bit. Change is ok. As long as you stay true to yourself and your values and faith. That’s all that matter.

So now that the next holiday is quickly approaching and you’ll soon be headed back to that lovely hometown of yours, just remember something. Be true to yourself. Who cares if your old friends like you. You’re probably do far more things then they are, so they’ll hate you for that anyway. And watch the booze intake. Because some of the people I saw were embarrassing. And that’s how I’ll remember them. Because who knows when the next time is I’ll see them. So stay classy friends. Stay classy.

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