Thursday, July 11, 2013

Musings of a High School Reunion

Proverbial wisdom advises one to never meet one's heroes—the experience is usually disappointing, thanks to overblown expectations. Plus, many people's heroes end up being jerks and divas, thanks to the nature of fame.

But, I can't help myself from applying that adage to attending my 10-year high school reunion.

The reunion is set for this November, on the day before Thanksgiving. I'm going to be in my hometown during that holiday week and will have that evening open, so my attendance is not a matter of scheduling. I know of a slew of readily fantastic people who are planning to go, so my hesitance is not based in potential loneliness. And Facebook has made my life visible for all the world, so my flip-flopping is not because I dread the "catching up" between old friends.

I cannot fully decide if I want to go to my high school reunion because I don't know if I'd rather have my former classmates remember 2003 me or 2013 me. And vice versa, if we're being honest.

Although my character has become more impressive during these past ten years, my C.V. has diminished immensely. While so many of my peers are graduating law school or leading exciting lives overseas, I have carved out a nice-for-me, boring-for-others life for myself. Stay-at-home mom of two living in Utah doesn't wow the crowds.

When I was 18, I was involved in every extra-curricular I could squeeze in, I had stellar grades, and I fit in with many different social groups. My personality was explosive and annoying and vibrant. And most of all, I had that body that 28-year-old me could only dream about.

And I imagine that many of my classmates could echo these sentiments; being young is equivalent to being full of promise, and none of us are as young as we used to be.

I was such a wild fan of my friends (and non-friends) during my high school years. If I went to Redlands in the fall, encountered one of them, and discovered that they had become a raging maniac, I imagine that my disappointment would be cataclysmic. Would the past be better left in the past, then?

I had the opportunity recently to reconnect with a dear friend who I had not seen since my high school days; I had heard whispers of his life throughout the years, but being able to ask him questions directly proved the above hypothesis. My memory told me that he was a sweet, gentle guy and reality laid his gruff, distant interior at my feet. I want to cling to that old perception, but the new information keeps poking me in the side.

Do I want to disappoint others in that way? Does the potential disaster outweigh the potential fun of going to a high school reunion? And, even worse, has enough time passed that no one will remember me at all?

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