Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You Must Attend. Yes, You.

2006 marked the year of my wedding, and I knew exactly how I wanted it to happen.

The proverbial "I dos" were going to be said, my husband and I were going to ride off into the sunset, and we were definitely, absolutely, NOT EVER going to have a wedding reception. Why would I throw a party for everyone else when I wanted to have a party of two? There was not going to be a reception—no way, no how.

When I presented my idea to my dad, he did not seem thrilled.

Usually our great minds thought alike, but that day, his was great at thinking differently. My dad told me, "You need to let other people celebrate you. They want to be happy for you and tell you so in person." Pondering all of the personal hassle and drama, I hadn't thought about how the reception's absence would affect others. My then-fiance-now-husband and I continued on with wedding plans; the reception was the bulk of the planning and a majority of the heartache, but I was able to see it through new eyes.

The other day, I bought a ticket to my 10-year reunion just like I thought I might. Once it was finalized, I breathed a sigh of relief. I eagerly anticipated news of what exciting events might occur and who I might see; I even put some feelers out through social media, though it was potentially embarrassing. It's not cool to seem too spirited about something like a reunion.

But, I was met with radio silence. A few "can't make it" responses came and quietly left. There were fence-sitters galore. My settled-upon gang of my high school BFF, our other BFF, and me seemed to be the only excitement to which I could look forward. I wondered what I could do to change that.

I tell you all of that to tell you, the fence-sitters and naysayers, this:

You need to let other people celebrate you. They want to be happy for you and tell you so in person.

Don't deprive others of your presence—you may never know who has you on their Must See list.  

There are some who stealthily follow you on Facebook, but don't feel comfortable calling you when they're in town. And there are others who wanted to be your friend in high school, but weren't for all the sociopolitical reasons that plague teenagers. Others didn't like you back then and wonder if you've changed for the better.

I bet you have.

I've hit the yearbooks pretty hard, and I know that I wasn't acquainted with everyone in my graduating class. How could I be? There were over 800 of us. I wasn't one of the cool kids, and I wasn't one of the jocks. I was barely one of the Hollys; I was still trying to figure out who I was.

If you still have doubts or wonder if you have anything to add by attending, I quote myself from this blog post:

I doubt you know how much impact you have had on those around you. Someone, somewhere, has seen you be a good person, even if it was only that one time. But don't lie, there has been more than one time. I can be a spiteful, vengeful, caustic individual and even I can admit that there have been a handful of times that I had the chance to show off my better side.

People think well of you. People have written about you in their real-life journals. People admired you but never spoke to you. And people have been inspired by you. Keep trying to inspire.

Come on, guys: just do it.

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