bowling for soup was right
Apparently, "high school never ends."
This afternoon, the administrative assistant in my office forwarded me this email with the subject line, "some help please". So I'm thinking it's job related - that a student is interested in starting a chapter and would like some assistance getting things underway. Common question. Then I open the email, and read this:
"I am trying to get in touch with a lady named (sleepeybear) who is listed on your website as (the awesome position I have in the company). We went to high school together and there is about to be a 10 year reunion but noone has been able to contact her, so I was asked to try and I came across her on your website. I would greatly appreciate your help either by giving me an email address or forwarding this email to her so that she can contact me if she likes. We were good friends in high school and although a lot of time has passed I would really like for her to be aware.
(best friend from high school)"
First of all, I was quite surprised to hear that nobody has been able to contact me. My parents still have the same house (with the same address and the same phone number) that I lived in during high school. It truly could not have been THAT difficult to drop a note in the mail or leave a message on the phone! But we'll set that small piece of silliness aside to focus on the main dilemma.
Let's start by saying that me going to the reunion is completely not happening. Mainly because I do not feel like "catching up" with a group of people whom, for the most part, I have not seen or spoken with since the day I graduated.
It wasn't that I didn't like the people I went to high school with, or anything that dramatic. We just didn't keep in touch. Sure, there were a few people (like the best friend who sent the above email) that I maintained relationships with for a little while...but unlike most of the people I graduated with, I chose not to go to UK, EKU, Western, Louisville or some other in-state school. I went off to North Carolina and in a way, never really looked back. (And yes, I have theories of why my brain worked like that...but the psychobabble would distract from the matter at hand!) The short story is that I find it really hard to be excited about seeing all those people again. Because honestly? Here are the facts of my life in the past ten years:
- moved to North Carolina
- earned a bachelor's degree that I will most likely never use
- did a lot of dating in college before finding the guy I thought was "the one"
- spent a year in Boston to earn my master's degree that I do use
- married that guy
- moved with him to the lovely state of Texas
- got my first "career-oriented" job
- started working for my fraternity
- got divorced
- moved to the even lovelier state of Pennsylvania
That's what the past decade of my life would look like to these two hundred people. What I could never explain in a hundred nights of reunions is what the past ten years have really been for me: a time to grow into the person I'm striving to be...to figure out what I really want in life...an
opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people, and develop dear friendships with them...the chance to love, to lose and to recover...the ability to realize that I am so much more than the idealistic, naive, nerdy, socially clumsy, fashion challenged girl that I was then. So I don't feel that compulsion to celebrate the good ol' days...to answer the same questions about my life a hundred times...to see the high school boyfriend and relive some very painful, awkward teenage mistakes...to say, "it's so good to see you again" and feel a little fake since I've not missed any of these people. I just don't have it in me to do the whole reunion thing.
"So if I feel that strongly about not attending," you're asking, "what's the dilemma?" My dilemma involves the email itself. The polite side of me says I should respond to my former best friend, and respectfully decline any interest in the reunion. The spiritual side of me says I should accept this as an opportunity - that this connection has been made now for a purpose. The private side of me says to just ignore it, that to respond would open the door to relationships I'd long ago laid to rest, and that if I respond (even to decline) I'll only be inviting the very questions and platitudes and niceties I'm trying to avoid by not going, and via email at that. I just can't seem to figure out what the best thing to do is, or whether the best thing is the right choice for me. For my life, as it is now.
Where I am: Home