We all know that time passes more slowly for some activities than others…and that for each person, time both flies by, and stands still. There is no better way to experience both at the same time than to attend your high school reunion, as I did this past weekend. And for those who are checking, no, this isn’t about hiking, but it is indeed about being able to put one foot in front of the other.
I graduated high school over thirty years ago now…and for the most part, my memories of high school had always been blurred by the memory of my awkwardness. I was a small and skinny kid, played in the marching band, was active in Boy Scouts, and active in my church. To say that I was not part of the ‘popular’ crowd is an understatement. I had my friends, most of whom were also in the band, so I wasn’t a loner, but I seemed to recall that we generally knew ‘our crowd’ and the folks we hung out with.
About a year ago I had decided to join Facebook – not really sure why, but over time I have reconnected with many, many classmates. And while many of them were not kids I hung around with, I knew who they were, and they knew who I was, so we could at least communicate. And over the last few months, as I’ve talked to some of these people, I came to realize that the time then was not so bad after all, and that in fact, I had created some lasting memories and friends, despite the years. So when I realized our 30 Year Reunion was being held, I decided I wanted, and needed, to attend, despite the fact that I had missed all the earlier ones. In the week before the event, I debated….would I still be the same awkward kid, or would I be different? Would everyone else be different? Who changed the most, or the least? Who left the area, and who didn’t? Should I really go or not?
As the night arrived, I pulled out my yearbook to peruse one last time, hoping to remember everyone. And when we pulled into the lot of the restaurant and walked in the door, thirty years melted away in a flash, and suddenly it was like 1979 again. Except for one thing – it no linger mattered what sport you played, what your GPA was, or what brand of sneakers you wore…everyone there was connected in ways unknown. In one instant, time stood still, and time advanced. I read somewhere that at 30 year reunions the big realization is that everyone felt awkward during high school, but some hid it better than others. And time does erase all that, and bring everyone together again. And so while it was wonderful to see my old best friends again, it was also wonderful to be able to sit and talk and remember with people I hadn’t spent much time with back then…the most common thought I had after talking with people was “I wish I had known you better, or spent more time with you, when we were younger.” And what I realized is that that’s OK…that was then, and this is now. And I enjoyed spending time with my classmates, and hope to see them again, without waiting another thirty years ( I doubt I’ll last that long anyway).
So here’s to the Mustang’s, Class of 1979!! It was great seeing all of you again, even though we had such little time that evening to reconnect. Thank you to the organizers for a great evening, and to everyone for being there…we definitely missed the rest of you. And thanks to my wife, for putting up with being left as I visited…luckily she wasn’t the only one in that situation, and was able to make a new friend in the process!