Time has been good to us. To me. At my 20th high school reunion Saturday night, a classmate commented that he thinks we’re in the best times of our lives. I have to agree.
It was surreal and fun and uncanny. People I’ve known since I was small, sat behind in stiff chairs or at play tables in Kindergarten. (Fraser Wylie, that’s you!) Reminiscing about inflatable letter people and tennis team and pom pon and big hair and brightly-colored, oversized clothes and all the other minute details that made our lives in the 1980s.
And we shared details about today, too. Babies on the way or just born, children compelling all of our time, careers and spouses and ex-spouses and no spouses.
If I am an amalgam of my experiences, then I have to say that many of the people I spent this past Saturday night with have a little corner of the sculpture that is me.
For some, high school was their heyday and they spend every day since looking back. Not me. I loved high school but it was formative, not ideal. I had big hair and big insecurities and lots of odd boyfriends. (Well, some things don’t change!)
Have we all forgotten those aimless summer nights driving around in a half-baked car late at night, searching for something called Self? Inhaling the heady scent of youth, that’s something powerful. I am more grounded now, happier, confident. I suppose that’s what is supposed to happen in time.
In time, we all find what we need. At least most of us do. And the ultimate irony is that it was always there all the time, right inside.
Is that just the path of youth? To look outside ourselves until we can no longer and then turn our eyes inward to see the truth? The truth that rode shotgun the whole time.
I loved high school. I loved so many of the people I knew then but you know, I think I like them even more today. We’re all refined and focused and, well, fun.
I loved college, too, but it wasn’t that same sense of cohesion and community that you get from growing up down the street from people. Maybe everyone in their 30s had this, but in Farmington Hills in the 1970s and 1980s, we had neighborhoods where all the kids ran free in between the houses. We played in the Commons and jumped on the trampoline and drove to Burger King for lunch or back to my house because it was ok to have everyone over all the time.
I had a great childhood. And still I made some bad decisions as an adult. Nothing is ideal. It’s only real.
Real life. Full of unfortunate breaks, wrong turns and missteps. And most of us recover. And some of us don’t. And the sun rises again each day, a new chance. Jason A., this blog is for you.