This past weekend I attended my 25th high school reunion.
Really??? Has it been 25 years already??? How is this possible? A quarter century - POOF
I wasn't going to go to it.
I had a list of excuses.
I wasn't one of those people that thinks back to the glory days of championships and parties. I didn't run for student government, I wasn't a leader, I didn't have a cause or a group I felt I belonged to. Instead I was the quiet kid in the back corner of the classroom that really didn't say too much. I probably would have been content to have my desk in another room if it were allowed. I kept to myself, had a few friends, but like many, I was trying to figure myself out and I just wasn't there yet. I felt like I didn't matter. I felt invisible.
My friend Sarah, a few days before the event, called to give me a little nudge and convinced me to attend. MY impression of Sarah was that she was one of the cool kids. SHE doesn't see herself as one of the cool kids of course, it's was just her personality to fit in. She had this ability to talk to anyone in the school, make them feel cared for and normal. It's a gift really... To blend into any group and not get hung up on which group she 'belonged' to.
She sent me this text...
'our recollection of ourselves is different than other's recollections of us'
While I was so worried about fitting in at that time... Pretty much everyone else was doing their version of the same thing. In my case, it wasn't so much that I was invisible, but more so that I didn't put myself out there to be seen. I was just another kid going to school.
So here's the interesting part. We are still all pretty much the same people. But we seemed to have a different level of appreciation for reconnecting with each other. Something I would say most of us didn't have in highschool. I had conversations with people I haven't talked to in 25 years. The foundations of the relationships were made decades before, so it was effortless to slip into conversations about what they did after high school. What careers they pursued, the families they created, the lives they're leading.
One group I especially loved reconnecting with were people that I not only went to high school with, but grade school as well. I think there were 15 of us that could make the event. That's 15 out of a class of around 30. We went to Notre Dame gradeschool... At that time we were the Fighting Irish. I remember having the t-shirt with the mascot screened on the front, fists up, ready for a fight. That was back in the day when you could 'borrow' the mascot of a powerful United States University and no one had an issue with it. Now, my former gradeschool has a wildcat as their mascot. (how lame) I guess the days of political correctness and perhaps a cease and desist letter catch up with you. Ah well... What made this group extra special is that we grew up as kids together and had over 30 year relationships...
So much has changed, but so much has also stayed the same...
Attending the reunion was a great thing.
Maybe at the end of the day, what's important to remember is that OUR PERCEPTION creates our reality.
So take some time to appreciate...
...the people in your life
...the things you're working on, or have created
...what it is that you have contributed to this world
We get so caught up with daily stresses and events pulling us in so many directions, that we often miss some of the moments that will be significant milestones over time.
Have a wonderful week everyone! :)