Happy Monday. I hope you are doing well.
This weekend I attended my 40th high school reunion. Forty years since I said “good bye” to the security of home and school and headed for Kansas in order to discover who I was and who I hoped to become. Forty years ago I was filled with the excitement and anticipation all the world had to offer.
Understandably, when I talk with most people about high school reunions they have little or no interest in attending their own. For many, there is the consideration of the time and distance it requires to attend. For others, the dread facing the ghosts and memories best left in the past, and the general desire to live in the present moment and not reminiscing about years gone by. Besides, if you are part of a class of 700, who can guarantee anyone you knew back in the day will even show up?
I am fortunate on two levels when it comes to attending my reunions. First, I was part of a small and friendly class. There were less than 70 of us in the University High graduating class of 1981 so, unlike many people, I knew everyone in my class and spent time with them every day. Despite my often quiet and reserved personality, I truly enjoyed the time I spent with my classmates and thought very highly of them. Secondly, the reunion comes to me LOL. My life’s course has kept me in my hometown and therefore I am within 15 minutes of any reunion activities. I will admit, if I had to plan time off and travel I may not be as motivated to make the journey but who can say “no” to a short drive for dinner with old friends? I was so grateful to Paul and Matt, two of my classmates, for organizing the reunion and being dedicated to celebrating 40 years in spite of Covid and the challenges we are all facing at some level in our personal lives.
With age comes wisdom and from my perspective, the overall atmosphere of the reunion was that of gratitude, acceptance, and friendship. Gratitude that we were able to get together, gratitude for the memories of shared experiences as well as how those shared experiences shaped who we became. Acceptance of the passage of time. Acceptance of the loss of classmates,our parents, and most of our teachers. Friendship that crosses decades. Some of my classmates went to school together K-12 and others of us joined along the way. After 40 years it doesn’t really matter who the socialites were and who sat quietly in the corner. We were all there and we all remember. Now that makes for a comfortable friendship, not based on who we were in high school but rather, by who we have become. There were lots of smiles and laughs and that was great to see.
So, after a whirlwind weekend, most of my classmates are headed back to their homes and lives. A few of us lucky ones just had to drive across town. Either way, it is a long road from 1981 to 2021 and I have enjoyed the journey. Once every five years it is good to get together and remember who helped to shape me before I walked out the door and went on my merry way to experience the world.
Well, University High School class of 1981, thanks for the memories and friendship, both then and now.
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Until next time,