We interrupt this regularly scheduled eco/edtech blog to go and get all philosophical.
," the 1978 song performed Peaches and Herb, always comes to mind when I think of reunions and long time get-togethers. Perhaps that's because I'm a product of the 80's.
I recently attended a high school reunion. It was one of those spanning types of reunions where it arcs to connect several years, and even several high schools. (I think because my class called it quits on the 20th). Technically, it was my 26th high school reunion, and though there were very few people there that I really ran around with "back in the day," it's always interesting putting the names with the faces, and seeing what we've all grown up to be.
Facebook these days helps you stay better connected with a lot of your old buddies in a way that wasn't possible before FacebookNation took over. But reunions are the things that really get the nostalgia and old memories flowing. You just can't help yourself from tripping down memory lane.
I have attended 3 in my life: my 10th, my 20th, and now my 26th. Each one hit me at a fairly significant time of my life. The 10th was after a long-term relationship went south and I was newly single; the 20th was after my second major cross-country move and I was about to start a new job; and this most recent one was the first one after my dad died. Each reunion (and of course the people who were there), brought a new layer of memories back in their own context. Additionally too, the life experience you bring to the reunion table (and the further away you get from the high school experience) alters and shifts the way you look at things. New perspective that makes all those awkward and adventurous high school moments fall into the greater picture.
The experience of a reunion, the reminiscing, the sad awareness of the former classmates who have passed away, and the memory of who you were then, mixed with the realization of who you are now, builds a timeline that you truly can see, for a moment, in its entirety (as things in our busy world often don't allow you to make time to do this in the flurry of daily life).
[Yes, it's a run-on sentence, but that sort of speaks volumes in and of itself.]
So I look back and smile, at this (and all of my) high school reunions.
Here it is, we've had a reunion for a school that is now the merely a building holding an entirely different hometown/competitor high school. Before that, this building got shifted into my former middle school (as our town downgraded the number of high schools they needed), when my middle school got torn down to build a Target. As a point of interest, my 11-year old thought that was funny as we were walking through Target buying school supplies. We both kept chuckling by the fact that she's preparing to go into middle school this fall, and here we were essentially IN my middle school (while standing in the checkout line of Target).
But it just goes to show you: the school is not the building, but the memories of the experiences. I think we all would have laughed, way back when, to even imagine that our middle school would become a Target, and that our high school would virtually cease to exist.
I'm grateful for the handful "oldie but goodie," dear friends who've known me for 30+ years. There's something in that kind of friendship, with the longevity it provides, that serves as an anchor. I will admit it--my hair was not near as big as it was back then. This is probably a good thing! I'd like to think I'm a better version of who I was then. My sense of humor, tho similar is sharper. My sense of vision, now wider. My philosophical sense, ever strong. All of which proves that life's a journey, not a destination!
Reunion pic from http://seibelfamily.net/Reunionpage.htm; High School building image from http://www.illinoishsglorydays.com/id384.html