Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reunions...




So two things happened this week:


1. I went to a "alumni night" at my old youth group 
2. I got an invitation to my high school reunion 


And this got me thinking/talking about life in high school. It's amazing what the different reactions are when you get invited to a reunion. Some people passionately don't want to go back and re-live those terrible memories, and some people can't wait to go back. And it's not always who you would expect to be in each of those camps. 


Bu in any case, these type of events bring back memories, and you start to remember who you were. And some of those memories are fun, and some are not. In the parking lot tonight after the youth reunion, we talked about how in high school it's easy to get trapped into having to be one thing...


the quiet one, the social one, the partying one, the funny one, the academic one, and the list goes on.


And as much as we emphasize individuality all the time, it's like you haven't learned the complexity of identity yet in high school, so you stick with your little mold even if you are pretty sure you are more than it. 


And then there's me, I'm in that camp that hesitates to go to my high school reunion. I don't like the thing I was there, it wasn't me all. I have a friend from high school - who only knew me in that social context - and she told me last year that she thought I was an introvert. If you know me for 10 seconds you know I'm not an introvert. And I realized, that was the only place she knew me - in the high school social environment, where I wasn't myself at all. 


So now I don't want to go back. I don't want to have to explain that I became a teacher, and now I'm not teaching anymore. I don't want to explain that I am trying to sort it all out. I don't want to feel like that lonely kid in a giant building again. I don't want to explain this non-linear life. I want an easy packaged answer, but I don't really have one. But as my very wise friend said in the parking lot tonight:


Maybe having an easily packaged answer at your high school reunion is just the adult version of living out a teenage stereotype


Kind of brilliant right? So there you have it, that's my thought for the night. Maybe it's okay if our paths are a little less linear than we'd like, because we're discovering that we're more than one thing. Now if I can only bring myself to RSVP....

4 comments:

Bec Shulba said...

i've now written like 5 comments here and erased them. what you've written totally resonates with me - high school is such a strange time and you juts have no idea how young you are about the way you think until you can look back on it 10 years later. thankfully for me, i had youth as a place that i was truly myself - something that probably many teenagers don't have. good memories.

Sharelle said...

Totally agree Rebecca. That was the beauty of last night for me - remembering that I did have one place in high school where I felt like myself. I'm pretty thankful for that too.

theRachel said...

Don't know which wise friend said that but they hit the nail on the head. I went to my 10 year high school reunion last fall, and realized that very few had followed a so-called linear path post-high school, but many seemed to be happy and pursuing life with excitement.

Thanks for sharing, Sharelley! Wish I could've been there for the PPAC youth reunion!

Tyler said...

I was recently talking with my wife about her potentially upcoming High School reunion this year. The purpose of these things, once upon a time, used to be to find out how people are doing and what they are up to. I've been wondering what the role/purpose of High School reunions are now that social media provides these updates.