Last evening, Cindy and I went to my 40th high school reunion party (casual drinks on the patio at Aunt Chilada’s restaurant).
As we reconnected, I was reminded of how complex life is and how intertwined we still are even from a distance. It was like a reality show playing out in real life. In high school, I played the part of the attention-seeking, insecure band geek.
It’s impossible to show someone who we really are in a 5 or 10 minute conversation, but we tried to show our best selves to each other. I want to know who they are now and how their lives have played out in the last 40 years. Although I have kept up with a precious few, There are many many who have crossed my mind repeatedly over the years.
I find the hidden parts of our lives fascinating- the ocean of unknown, unstated, secrets locked away in each of us.
Of course, we are not the same version of ourselves that we were in high school. We have all moved on to who we are today. God has given us experiences that have reshaped parts of who we are, but what a joy to reconnect with others.
In our reality show last night:
• I was relaxed and enjoyed the evening a lot more than the 10 year reunion.
• I felt sadness for the large group of classmates who have passed away.
• I was actually relieved to see how normal most looked.
• I was suprised when somebody had to look at my yearbook picture on my lapel to remember who I was. Everybody else had changed, but I hadn’t aged a bit…
• My wife, Cindy was beautiful and stood by, smilng while I laughed and tried desperately to remember who this person or that guy over there was.
I spent the evening piecing together the puzzle of who I was in high school. She said that she shouldn’t have worn her 15 minute shoes to a 3 hour evening. Her feet were killing her.
Keith Kingston reminded me of the time we switched identities in Mr Smith’s algebra class. Keith got in trouble the next day for being so disruptive.
I really enjoyed the memories of the marching band and the football games, where my insecurities played out so loudly as I tried to be noticed every way possible.
Tonight, at reunion part 2. I have a couple of goals:
1) I want to honor my wife. People kept reminding me that I married up.
2) I want to reconnect with people tonight so that I can see more about where they’ve come in the last 40 years.
3) I want to soak up the memories and reconnect with the joy and innocence of our younger selves.
Looking back, Although I loved high school, I am most grateful for my life after high school. For my wife, my kids and their kids. They have loved and supported me and inspired me to try and be the best person I can. I don’t want them to be disappointed in me… I guess my insecurity is still standing in the bleachers at Camelback High School shouting for attention.
THANKS to the few who did all of the legwork to put this reunion together. I’m looking forward to tonight.