Living a life I didn’t write
Published 3:53 pm Friday, June 18, 2010
It is amazing how 40 years passed in the blink of an eye, but that is exactly what happened.
One second I stood with my friends waiting to grab a diploma and launch
into life and the next minute I was deciding whether to
attend a 40-year high school reunion and see where we all landed.
For the last month or so, I’ve gone back and forth about going to this event. I
haven’t been to a reunion since the 20th one so it’s been a while since I’ve seen most
of my classmates. Thinking about going sent me to the mirror to see how much the image had changed,
something we all do when we consider class reunions. The face looking back had more
wrinkles and the once frosted ash blonde hair is dark now and naturally streaked with
white. Those are physical changes (and we are not going to discuss cellulite because well, it is not something
I want to talk about). The more subtle, but to me more meaningful changes, are not as noticeable because they
happened on the inside. When I walked across that stage in my cap and gown, I was a girl. Of course, I
thought I was a woman who knew so much about life, but I found there is more to this
thing called living than I’ll learn in this one lifetime.
Then I wanted so to be grown up. Now I understand that having the heart of a child is much better than all
that adult stuff I thought was important and longed to experience. As I thought about seeing
friends again, I could not help wondering if any of our lives ended up being as we thought
they would be. I didn’t imagine that I’d live through a divorce, then meet a wonderful
man and marry again. The children I’d give birth to were not in my thoughts either.
In my head on that graduation night, there was not any idea of a job in the newspaper business or as a public relations
person. Moreover, being a yoga teacher in my late 50s was certainly not listed anywhere in the things I might be
when I grew up. Still all those things are part of my story, part of the person I am today. I’m betting
my classmates’ stories are not the ones they thought they’d write either.
Some of the ones who walked out of the auditorium will not be at the reunion to share their stories because
they are gone now, something we couldn’t contemplate as we hugged each other that night 40 years ago.
Yesterday I got a friend’s Facebook message (another change that came about since 1970 when we didn’t have
personal computers). She wanted to know if I was coming to the reunion this weekend. To tempt me, she listed
the names of some of the ones who’ve committed to attending.
As I read the names, I smiled seeing their faces in my mind, all of them looking just the way they did 40 years
Last week another high school friend told me it was as if we’ve come full circle and here we all are together
again, older, hopefully wiser, but still friends.
Forty years passed in a blink and my friends and I live in a very different world from the one we launched
into that graduation night.
The speed with which it all happened boggles the mind, but I am thinking that this weekend I might enjoy seeing
where we all landed.