Tuesday, November 29, 2011

High School Reunion - Before and After Thoughts and Self Reflection

My high school had a reunion this past weekend.  The event was roughly organized through a Facebook group and thrown together at the last minute.  I'm not active on Facebook, but I had been following the posts about the reunion. 

Since graduation, I have not kept in touch with anyone I knew from high school; this being a decision I made by choice.  I have always been a bit of a loner or as I like to say "independent".  I had friends back then and participated in team sports, but when it came to socializing, I was never really into that.  If friends called me to hang out, I would, but I never called them. 

As time went by, I lost touch with everyone.  I went on with my life.  In the time passed since high school, my life has turned out ok in some areas, but not so great in others.  I feel like I'm not as accomplished as I should be compared to other people my age.  I think that's why even today I avoid hanging out with people my age because I don't want to be compared to them.

When I heard about the reunion happening, I was not inclined to go. To me, reunions are for the popular kids to go back and see their old friends.  I thought reunions were for for all the people who still look as good as they did back then to come back a flaunt it.  My impression was that it was for the people who became rich and successful to come back and brag about it. 

Not feeling like I am any of those 3 things, I decided not to go.  I feared if I went there, I would see my former classmates all still looking good, married happily with kids, and talking about the great jobs they have and how their lives are going great.  So I didn't go, but of course I am following the news and pictures that get posted about the reunion and what happened.

Here's where it gets interesting.  I just got through looking at about 100 pictures from the event and to tell you something, I was very surprised.  First of all, I didn't recognize half the people.  Either there were a lot of guests, or people just changed a lot.  I would say about 10% of the people looked about the same as they did before.  The other 40% I recognized looked a lot older and let's just say, not so good. 

Personally, the one thing I would have been self conscious about the most would have been my hair which has receded quite a bit.  I think most guys my age still have a full head of hair, but you know what?  About half the guys in the pictures were losing their hair just like me and they still showed up!  Another thing I noticed is how most of the guys got fat.  I never got fat, in fact I am still very skinny, probably even more so than I was back then.

So after looking at the pictures, and getting a little boost in confidence, I probably could have gone if I wanted to.  I don't regret it though.  Most of the people I knew back then, it appears didn't show up for the reunion either.  I bet there are a lot of people like me just lurking on the internet, spying on their former classmates, thinking the same thing about how they don't feel like they turned out good enough to go back and face their peers. 

It would be nice to rekindle some old relationships and establish some new networking connections with former classmates. Maybe someday if I become more content with where I am at in life, I might get on Facebook and reconnect with my old friends and acquaintances.  For now I can rest assure that perhaps I turned out better than I thought and that other people my age are not as different as I believed.  Who knows, I might actually attend the next reunion. 

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