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....