Saturday, August 2, 2014

On Missing my 30 year High School Reunion

Why I am sorry to be missing my 30 year class reunion.  For those of you who know me, you may be surprised to hear this, but I am actually bummed about missing my 30 year class reunion which is today. When I first found out about this event, my intent was to attend, but that was before I double booked myself.  It is always interesting what actually makes it to my brain (e.g., my smart phone calendar) and what doesn’t.  Kid events are first and everything else gets scheduled around those.  No kid events=no organization.

Lack of time management on non-work/non-school days is a problem for me, but so actually is missing my reunion.  I started on what I will call a forward only trajectory in my early twenties.  Which entails being set on a perpetually forward course of action that goes something like this, graduate high school, go to college, get married-life lesson number one, I shouldn’t have gotten married so young-get divorced, live what I can only call my “fertile void” until deciding to apply to graduate school.  Career decided, I am set into forward motion again, get into graduate school, move out of state, finish graduate school, apply for jobs on the west coast, but not in my home state.  The key, keep living somewhere else, live, learn, move forward.  Of course, I never thought about what life might be like when I finally met many of these fast forward goals towards which I had been rushing such as having children and getting settled in a career, for the past decade my life has been more of the abrupt halt that is sometimes known as growing up. 

So why would I want to potentially live in reverse?  Now that I am older, although not that much more mature, I have come to realize that life isn’t defined by the constant forward momentum of obtaining observable goals.  This may sound very Eastern mystic of me, but life is really about where you are as an individual in ways that are not readily observable to others, it is a circular rather than linear journey (again, forgive the philosophizing, I just got done reading “The Wind Up Bird Chronicle”).  Also, once you reach the age that I am, it becomes increasingly more important to hunt down those that knew you when you were young, being young at heart does nothing to negate the surprise that I often feel when I look in the mirror.

Reunions of any kind are part of coming full circle, back to where you started.  While this can be a measure of how far you have come, I have come to believe that it is more a validation of who you are.  A recent study correlated nostalgic music (for me that would be the 1980’s) with feelings of nostalgia for a good time gone by, and thus a mood elevator, an excuse that I am now using for blasting “my” music when all of my kids are in the car (although unlike the tunes of my parents, my kids actually like many of these “old” songs).  It is not too big of a stretch to associate something like a high school reunion to a similar good nostalgic feeling.  Of course, I didn’t love high school as much as I love my hits of yesteryear, but it is all about perspective.  Once you get past being a teenager and are looking back on that period of time with people who shared it with you, it is possible to see all of the good things that were not observable in the moment.

So I will miss not seeing all of you from Glencoe High School class of 1984, it has been fun to see the yearbook posts and get an idea of what people are doing, electronically at least.  As for me, I am good, I am on the brink of guiding three strong minded girls into young adulthood, I enjoy what I do for a living, and I still have an obnoxious laugh that sometimes embarrasses at least one of my kids.  Cheers to you all, here’s to red wine, song, and making memories.

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