I’ve never been a fan of reunions or homecomings associated with any of the schools I attended over the years. It places undue pressure on people to show the world that they have achieved something over the years, afraid to admit normalcy. Unfortunately, we live in an age of achievers and over-achievers, and failure is non-negotiable. Titles and achievements are dropped here and there, perhaps in a desperate search of adulation. Avoidance of reunions does not necessarily mean that I was not interested in what became of people since the last time we met, and with the advent of social media it is easy to keep track quietly without being an active participant of the convoluted chats.
Last night I met up with some former High School classmates, looking forward to catching up and lightening the somber mourning mood that has been shadowing me around. For once, I didn’t have time to have an emotional breakdown and cry in the middle of a conversation, as I have been doing of late, and it was the much needed jump-off point to reconnect with my past as I rebuild my world.
The familiarity and jovial mood of the group was absolute soul candy, and I felt transported 30 years back, picking up where we left off before we all parted our individual ways. This is a group that meets regularly and I’m looking forward to being part of it whenever I can. We have all reached an age where every opportunity to meet up counts and we have run out of time to waste. Life is short, and procrastination should be abolished from everyone’s vocabulary.
Some people avoid reunions because they had a rotten time in High School or like in the case of those who moved around constantly, it was difficult to establish deep and lasting friendships knowing you were going to leave again soon. But I for one had a grand time during those years and wouldn’t change a single moment. Perhaps things would have turned out differently if we all had social media back then, but we didn’t, so it is quite an achievement to still be able to reconnect with old friends 30 years down the line and be able to share laughter with a youth that betrays our chronological ages.
What a year this is turning out to be! It has been 30 years since I graduated from High School, 25 since university and shadows from the past keep popping up unexpectedly. In spite of everything else that happened since graduation, I feel I have come full circle and am back to the starting point. Fate and faith have led me here for a reason, and I embrace it all wholeheartedly.
New beginnings are undoubtedly in the cards, but they came with a heavy price and painful losses. In the meantime, I relish moments like last night to relive youth and lean on memories that made me happy back then and are reason to smile today.