Somewhere in the back of my mind I've been vaguely aware that this year marks 25 years since I graduated from high school. Yesterday I was clearly reminded of this fact when one of our class officers created a Weber High Class of 1988 Facebook group. As I scrolled through the pictures of my classmates I was struck by how little everyone has changed. Sure, we're all older now, but when I look at every one's faces I see the person I knew back in high school. This is probably a common phenomenon, as I think it's almost impossible to separate the reality of our aging selves from the shadow of our younger selves. Not to mention the fact that I think we're all a remarkably well preserved group! We for sure don't look like what in high school I imagined 40ish people would look like.
The other thing that struck me was how quickly the past five years have gone by. I don't remember feeling this way in the months leading up to our 20-year reunion. Then it felt like it really had been decades, years in which we were all busy growing up and becoming the adults we are now. But now, five years past that milestone, I can't stop thinking about the next 25 years. My life will be more than half over by then. I'll be 68 years old! It's a humbling perspective, and one that has caused a lot of self reflection over the last 24 hours or so. I can't shake the realization that I still have so many things left in my life that I want to accomplish, and having 25-35 more years to accomplish them doesn't seem like nearly enough time. Of course I know that life doesn't end in our sixties, seventies, or eighties, or in the case of my grandmother, even in the ninth decade of life. But, it does slow down, and the ability to do things that I'll easily be able to do for the next 20 or so years will definitely diminish.
These thoughts aren't resting that easily with me. I still feel so young, and in many ways like I'm finally figuring out who I am and what I want to be when I grow up. 25 years ago I expected that by the time I was 43 I'd feel more than grown up, that my life would be exactly what I wanted it to be. Ha! Life had other plans, or to be more honest, my life choices led me to where I am now, which isn't exactly what I imagined in May of 1988 when I threw my cap in the air and walked out the doors of Weber High School.
Am I the only one who feels this way? Sometimes it's easy to think that I am. In the last five years technology has changed at warp speed. At our 20-year reunion mark Facebook still wasn't that widely used. Today, Facebook makes it easy to stay connected to classmates, and also gives me a glimpse into many of their lives. I guess it makes us all a little voyeuristic as we watch from afar, making assumptions based on little real knowledge about what every one's lives are really like. I try to remember this when I see the signs of seemingly perfect lives of some classmates who seem to have figured out this adulthood thing long before me.
I look at the picture below and I'm struck by our youthfulness, our sheer delight at being grown up enough to date and go to high school dances. I also see our adult selves, and am grateful that I still maintain connections, however casual and infrequent, with three of the people in the picture.
As of today there is a poll being conducted on our class page as to whether or not people want a 25-year reunion or want to wait for a 30-year reunion. Five years ago I was ambivalent about our reunion. Today, waiting until our 30-year reunion seems like a really long time. Maybe I'm just getting more sentimental as I mature, but now I see the value in reconnecting with classmates and former friends. Time does fly, life is precious, and there isn't a relationship quite like the one with those who were there during our formative years. We never know what life will bring over the next ten years, nor who it will take. I feel remembering our younger, more innocent selves and the people who mattered so much to us then is important. Maintaining the connection to our past, to the people we were, and the friends who knew us then, is meaningful to the people we are now. I think every opportunity to reconnect with each other should be embraced and cherished. So, yes, I voted for a 25-year reunion.
|My first high school dance - Sophomore Year, 1986|