My 20th high school reunion was last month. Facebook makes things like reunions so different, for our tenth there was some communication, but not the photo-laced threads of remember when and can’t wait until. This time around, there were so many new faces popping up. We’ve aged, or we haven’t. We’ve married people we knew, or didn’t. Some people died, others disappeared and others still took on entirely new attitudes. I didn’t go to either reunion, but this summer something changed. Again, because of Facebook.
Acceptance that had been lacking before came to the surface.
I know it seems silly to 20-years post high school be shocked that people are just people, but I was. I am. I think it was partly because after high school I put that time in a box on a shelf and never really thought about it. I went abroad for a year, came back, went to college for a year, dated the obligatory bad boy, skipped around to a couple of colleges and then moved across the country. I didn’t bump into people.
Over the past few years I’ve forged unexpected friendships with people from that era, reconnecting here via this blog or through emails. We talk frequently, we have things in common, and despite lacking a closeness back then, we enjoy a depth of fondness that seems to credit us with decades of knowing one another. I think the thing that strikes me most about this whole revelation is the lightness of being that comes with no longer carrying the weight of that box.
I love having these tender feelings for so many people, people who are in memory, closer in age to my children than they are to me now.
Peace, Ike Class of ’91, peace.