“I don’t know what it is about going to high school with someone that makes you feel you’re automatically friends for life.”
Tequila Sunrise (1988)
On October 8th I attended my 30 year high school reunion. Thirty years seemed like forever. And then it seemed like yesterday. Some of the faces had changed greatly. Some, hardly at all. Life leaves its mark on us all. Our hair turns gray, our skin becomes a little more wrinkled, and our muscles become a little softer. Our paths diverge, but if we follow them back, they will lead us to a place where for four years we coexisted with dreams and aspirations for a future of excitement, adventures, love affairs, children, pets, a home, and an odd assortment of the various things we think will make us happy.
There are of course the tougher lessons of life. Money, relationships, children, aging parents. Lessons that, no matter who you are, present themselves as an opportunity for us to grow a little wiser with the passing of time.
We shared some wonderful times during our high school career. Football games, homecoming dances and parties where we hoped the alcoholic and drug contraband would not be discovered. Sadness when one of our crowd escaped their earthly bonds too early to even comprehend it, from car accidents to drug overdoses.
Those four years together bind us like nothing else can. Camaraderie in sharing the same experiences, both good and bad that make us feel like nothing can break those bonds of friendship. Make us feel as though they have dissolved that 30 year gap as though it was just yesterday. It couldn’t possibly be 30 years, can it? Like children growing up, you look back and realize it happened in the blink of an eye.
I joke about feeling old, but when I consider large chunks of time I feel a disconnect. I don’t actually feel like that much time could have passed. I don’t feel like I’m 48. Time has a way of fooling us, and I find that the things I’m most sad about are the things I haven’t accomplished. So, it becomes a life lesson of appreciation. Appreciating what we have accomplished. Learning to make the most of the relationships we have, with every single human being we come in contact with right down to the grocery store clerk.
Spread happiness with a smile. Make a grumpy person’s day by shining sunshine into their darkness. And if things haven’t gone according to plan during the first half, well then, we still have the second half of the game to do something amazing, right?