This coming weekend is my 20th class reunion. At the moment I am torn whether I am going to make an appearance because my boys have football games that weekend as well, and the reunion and the games are not even in the same state. Attending for at least one event can be done, but it would make the weekend rather chaotic; this is why I’m on the fence.
I was lucky enough to have a smallish class to graduate in with 56 kids. Most of us got along on a consistent basis and we appreciated each other uniqueness. No, that’s not to say that every day was sweetness and light, for we had our moments of high school bickering and immaturity, but doesn’t every class? Overall, I have good memories of my school and my class. And yes, I realize that not everyone has the same experience.
Milestones such as reunions tend to give us pause as we reflect back on the past several years. I try to reclaim my 18-year old train of thought and wonder if I had any idea that I’d end up where I am today. The answer is an emphatic NO. It’s not a bad “no” — just an emphatic one.
When I graduated from high school in 1992, I had planned on attending college for journalism. I really wanted to be a photojournalist, but could not get any guidance as to how to make that happen. No one seemed to know how one became a photojournalist, so I figured that plain ol’ journalism was the place to start. By the end of my first semester, I had changed my major to education, so there went that goal.
I knew that i wanted to be married and have kids. Now, twenty years later and licking the wounds from my divorce, I knew that this was not part of what I had envisioned.
However, I have always been a firm believer in the idea that things happen for a reason. We are the product of our choices and our circumstances. Could I have made different choices? Yes. Would I be just as happy? Well, how will I ever know? At some point we have to make peace with the decisions we have made and keep our eye on the ultimate goal for our life.
There’s a comfort in being able to gather with people who have known you since you were a poofy-haired, acne-ridden teenager. I know that if I go to my reunion, my thoughts about the past will not be unique ones. Life has been a bumpy road for many others as well.
Twenty years can do a lot to shape a person, and I can only hope that the “me” that exists today is a better one than I had envisioned in 1992. I may not have traveled the paths that I imagined I would, and I may not have the “story” I thought I’d be telling by now, but I have two wonderful children and a host of memories and experiences that have made me the person I am today.
I think my 18-year old mind would approve.