Back to the Future


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A reunion of sorts took place at an local coffee shop yesterday.  I had stopped at Cuppies and Joe with my daughter, Casey – a mother-daughter treat we call “special time”.  We were settled with our goodies and Casey wanted to check in on Facebook with a picture of our bounty.  She posted a pic of me, smiling over my scrumptious pumpkin spice latte, a yummy-looking cupcake, and the dreamy iced beverege she had ordered.

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A few minutes later, an old friend from high school walked right up to me.  Jim had seen the Facebook post and was nearby.  We had a wonderful time talking about our lives, our families, our interests.  We discussed books we were reading, ideas that were important to us.  Jim is a professor at a university; he filled my daughter in on how much colleges like home-schooled students.  The impromptu reunion only lasted about ten minutes, but I left smiling.

This mini-reunion stands in stark contrast to another reunion I recently attended.  There I saw other high school friends, smiled at pictures of children and grandchildren, heard stories of loves found and lost, of tragedy and beauty.  I took note, along with others, of who among us had weathered the years less than gracefully (in other words, who looked old or had gotten fat).  I also saw drunken flirting, drunken dancing, loud and obnoxious behavior, and heard the “N” word at least once.  I didn’t leave smiling.

I didn’t feel I “fit in” in high school.  Thirty years later, I still don’t.  The difference is that it was painful not to belong all those years ago.  Now I’m happy not to fit in.  I wish I knew then what I know now.  I would have done things very differently.  I wouldn’t have wasted my time on things I really wasn’t interested in (cheerleading) and things that were emotionally destructive (a certain crush who liked to play mind games).  I would have read a wider variety of books, befriended a wider variety of people.  I would have left high school with deeper friendships, better grades, and a bright vision of the future.  As it was, I had to find those things years later . . . I’m still finding them, actually.

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It’s satisfying to rekindle high school associations on adult terms.  We were children then . . . we had no idea who we were.  Hopefully, by now, we have a more complete picture.  Whether in person or on Facebook, I enjoy getting to know the adults some of those children have become, and sharing what I have become and am becoming.  We are now connected to the larger world and can share our wisdom, discuss thoughts and ideas, interact without the angst of our former selves.  Hopefully, the world will be a better place because of all that we’ve accomplished.

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