Posted by: joha5 | April 26, 2010

In Preparation for my 10th High School Reunion

This weekend is the 10th anniversary celebration of my graduation from high school and I am the lucky guy (along with a friend of mine) who gets to organize the entire event for our class.  People seem to have very strong feelings about reunions ranging from ‘No.  I would never go in a million years’ to ‘Yes!  I can’t wait to see everybody!’.  Some people are scared or anxious and some people are thrilled and elated.  Me?  I couldn’t be more indifferent.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am happy I am going and I am genuinely looking forward to seeing people that I haven’t seen in quite a while but beyond that I just really have no emotions about it.  I have changed a lot in the 10 years since graduating high school and I have changed in ways that I could and would never have been able to predict.  It would be easy for me to look at my old friend’s from high school and see them in the same vein that I saw them when I was 18 years old.  But I don’t.  I don’t look at high school the same way I did back then so not only have I changed as a person but my opinions of people have changed as well as I have gained more perspective and this has mostly been for the better.

Change doesn’t necessarily mean better, however.  Ideally, I will show up to our reunion on Saturday night and everybody will be like me and think like me and have had comparable experiences for us to discuss over many pints of draught beer.  While I hope for this, I certainly don’t expect it.  I am sure there will be people that I will want to run away from after a few fleeting moments of conversation just like there will be many people that I will be drawn to.  Whatever the reason may be, it will be because of who they are now and not because we are reprising our roles in high school. 

It would be easy to look at certain people and still give them the same label they had 10 years ago when I see them on Saturday night.  Jock.  Nerd.  Slut.  Goth.  Clown.  As a consequence, it would be even easier to revert back to viewing people the same way I did.  These reactions could range from ‘Oh man.  He was the coolest guy in school and I’d feel weird about talking with him’ to ‘Wow.  That person was such a loser in high school so I have no interest to see where their lives have taken them.’  Whatever happens I certainly won’t feel threatened by anybody who was or was not my friend in high school and I certainly am interested in hearing where their lives have taken them be it total success or total failure because I won’t think I am any better or any worse than that person.  The only difference is the fact that we have taken different paths and have different and more interesting perspectives than we did when we were 18.  I will gladly congratulate the successes and will happily commiserate with the failures that everybody has had in the 10 years previous.

Maybe this is why I feel so indifferent towards the whole event.  There is not going to be anybody there who has unilaterally failed or succeeded and we all will have garnered such an amazing amount of life experience since we donned our caps and gowns in 2000.  Everybody will have had their fair share of professional, personal, academic, and emotional success in the years that have followed high school and, who knows?  Maybe I could learn from these people.  Maybe they could learn from me.  Maybe I could find a potential job through somebody.  Maybe I could reconnect with people who I never thought I would be friends with.  Or maybe people won’t put so much pressure on themselves to try and impress people and instead just focus on having a good time reminiscing about the good old days at The Potomac School.  Whatever happens on Saturday night I am sure it will be another interesting life experience and if all else fails then I will be happy to just chalk it up to that. 

Besides, I am not an idiot.  I did, afterall, schedule the event at a bar.  Because if all else really does fail and things don’t go anywhere near as I expect them to then I can always rely on the great social lubricant that is booze to get me through the evening.  I have no doubt that the rest of the Class of 2000 learned this very same lesson many years ago as well.


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