over50feeling40: Avoiding Reunions...What I Learned
Fashion and Lifestyle Blog for women over 50 to help achieve strength, confidence, joy, inspiration, and, of course, head-turning personal style!

Jun 13, 2017

Avoiding Reunions...What I Learned

I sat in this room alone for a few moments on Saturday and pondered why it took me so long to return.  Over forty years ago, I lived in the sorority house and even held an office (Song Leader…which was tons of fun).  But, college was emotionally hard for me mostly due to my family and upbringing and it tainted my decision making. 
Oh, I know most of us have times in college we regret.  But, at the same time I was active in my sorority, I was also making many poor decisions for my life.  Now, I thought my sorority sisters were well aware that I was a mess.  So, out of embarrassment and a little shame, I have stayed away from them for all these years.  It was too difficult to go back.


They have had reunions and developed long time friendships over the past 40 years, and I missed out…because I was stupid.  When I arrived at my sorority reunion, these ladies threw their arms around me and showed genuine love and excitement that I was there.  They only remembered the good times and had chosen to forget the bad….or they were not even aware of all my struggles at the time I was going through them.

So, now my only regret is that I did not reach back sooner than now.  I will enjoy getting together with them from this time forward.  This is the damage of regrets and shame…it can rob us of joy in the present.  If anyone is struggling with some of these same issues with returning to your past, I encourage you to return and face your fears head on.  I think many avoid any type of reunion from embarrassment of past decisions or current ones. You might discover as I did that the only person who is judging you is you. 

Here is what I want to say to my sorority sisters...thank you for your kindness and acceptance.  When I left college, my personal goals were to obtain

The strength and charisma of  Marlene
The joy and giggles of Sheree
The sparkly eyes of Marilu
The faith of Diane
The intelligence of Carol Bru
The stature of Carol Bea
The sweet spirit of my little sister Vicki
The loyalty of Karen C

I believe now I have gained these qualities in my life...so thank you for the inspiration.  Currently, all I desire is the career of Karen T...but I suppose I will suffice to live vicariously through her!

Now, to the talk I was able to do for some of them.  They were precious and listened with interest and I truly hope I encouraged them to look and feel their best from this day forward.  I could tell there were a few who are putting themselves at the bottom of their own priority list…I hope they do something special for themselves this week.  

Here is what I looked like during that time….oh my have things changed!!  But, I still think this is the best time of my life...the one I am living right now!

Has anyone else avoided people in your past because you were embarrassed by your actions at the time or even now?  Care to share?


Keep Smiling, Everyone!

22 comments:

  1. This reasonates a lot for me. Thank you! It's funny how what others remember about us, may not be what we remember about ourselves.

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    1. I was hoping by sharing this experience others would be encouraged. Go have some fun, Michele, life is too short not to.

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  2. Wow -- what a great post! Thank you for sharing.

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  3. It was brave of you to return. Pam -- and how wonderful that it turned out to be an enjoyable experience. We all have parts of our past we regret. But, all of our past experiences (good and bad) make us what we are now! And, you are an inspiration to many woman -- positive, vibrant, caring, confident! Great post today! ps -- You still have that lovely smile!!

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    1. You are so right, Beth. All of it does help in some way...what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger...right? Thanks for the sweet, kind words!

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  4. Oh yes! I didn't even walk with my class for my high school graduation because I felt I so different. Lots of family problems and just trying to make a living for myself at 18. I'm 56 years old and I can say this is the first time in my life I feel good about myself. I did what I needed to do and I'm proud.

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    1. I am so glad you feel good about yourself. It is important to go forward and enjoy each day putting the past and regrets behind us. I am proud of you as well, Melinda!

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  5. I've never gone back to high school or college reunions! I agree with you that now is the best time in our lives. (I'm also pretty relieved there was no social media in the 70's and 80's) Great Post!

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    1. Thanks Valerie...I am so glad we did not have to deal with social media at that time too...it is sad to watch how some young ones are bullied on social media. I am having a blast at this age and glad to know you are as well.

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  6. Love your picture! Beautiful then/beautiful now. So glad you went back and reconnected. Having friends who knew you back in the day is a blessing!

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    1. I am glad I went as well, Cathy! They are sweet ladies and many of them doing great work to help others around them. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. You're the best inspiration Pam!! So glad you conquered your fears and went back.

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  8. I love your attitude, Pam - you've forgiven yourself and in turn, you're giving back to these wonderful friends. Real friends will always love you, no matter the choices! Brava to you also for encouraging them (and all your readers!) to put themselves first! Thank you for being such a positive influence in the blogosphere all these years - I have always enjoyed reading, even if I'm not always commenting.

    Cheers,
    Sheila

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    1. Thanks Shelia... I so appreciate the kind words.

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  9. You still have the same beautiful smile, Pam! So glad the reunion was a good experience for you.

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  10. It was so good to see you this past weekend, Pam, and I am so glad that you decided to come. We all live with regrets and it takes real courage to not let those regrets define us. I am so glad that you challenged yourself to come. Your talk was a real inspiration to me.

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    1. Thanks so much Nancy...I am really glad I went and do regret waiting so long. It was awesome to see everyone. I am glad the talk inspired you and I hope it helps others. Thank you for the kind comment.

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  11. It was so good to see you this past weekend, Pam. We all have regrets, but it takes real courage not to let them define us. I am so glad that you came and shared your wisdom with us. It was very inspirational.

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  12. A courageous decision and courageous post - Congratulations!

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Thanks so much for joining in our conversation today! I appreciate your time and love hearing from you!