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Monday, November 29, 2010

Ten Years Later

Last Friday, a large percentage of the other hundred people that graduated with me in 2000 dressed up in their fancy finery, glad-handed their old pals, tried desperately to one-up each other, and drank themselves into oblivion.

At least, that's what I say happened at our 10-year reunion.  I wasn't at there.  In fact, I hear they chose to play laser tag, instead.  Maybe my graduating class is even cooler than I remember it being.

I have mixed feelings on missing the reunion.  On the one hand, it would have been great to see the children (because we were children) that I grew up with.  Having a small graduating class means I knew every one of them.  I still remember all of their names.  Still, with the advent of facebook the ones that share anything in common with me already keep in touch.  In 2010, there is no shocking reveal, no adult makeover, no amazing success that hasn't already been talked to death on a social networking site.  So, really, I didn't need to go.  They already know I'm a married mom of twins who used to be a television journalist.  The introductory conversation that has traditionally been the backbone of high school reunions has been rendered moot by technology.  No wonder they played laser tag.  More running around and hiding behind things means less talking about things you already know.

A 10-year reunion, though, regardless of social media interruption, must be a magical event.  Five years is too close.  In this day and age, it is rare that anyone has gone through any major changes in the five years after graduating high school.  At ten years out, I feel like I am completely changed.  I looked at my two-year-old children watching television and think, this is it.  This is real life now.  I have children.  I have a family.  I must be an adult.  I have children.  Still, I could wake up tomorrow to the sound of a buzzer at 6 a.m. on the top bunk, fretting about the algebra homework I didn't understand and looking forward to the soccer game under the lights - so deeply ingrained are my high school years.

Growing up is something no parent can explain to a child.  As that child grows and experiences his own life changing in the strange lengths that are the days and the strange shortnesses that are the years, he will most likely remain in a confused state as to who he is and who he is becoming.  Just as he gets a grasp of what life should be for him at that very moment, the moment changes.  The flux of life is at odds with the permanence of snapshot memories.

And, of course, I am conflicted about who I am now versus who I should be.  Is that something I really wanted to 'share with the class,' so to speak?  While I am happy to be in a position to be a stay at home mom, and I love staying with my kids, watching and helping them grow, it's simply not where I thought I would be right now.  At the five-year reunion, I was up and coming.  I was going to be somebody.

What I need to remember is that I am somebody.  I am somebody very important to those little twins sitting in my living room right now.  Life doesn't always pan out as you expected it would when you were 17.  That doesn't make it worse.  If we could let go of our old definitions and of our old lives, we may even find that it's even better than we could have imagined.

Happy 10-year reunion, Somers High School Class of 2000.

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  1. Yes, dreams and wants do certainly change and I think if you went back you'd find it happened to everyone - or at least an indisputable majority. I know my life is vastly different than I'd ever imagined and, as you mentioned, both better and different than a 16, 17, 18 year old me could ever fathom.

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