So, tonight I went to my thirty-year high school reunion. I was so, so happy to see my friends, but for some reason, came home with a heavy heart. So aware of how much raw pain we have all been through, or are now going through; how life has not turned out (for most of us) how we hoped, and dreamed. I never did lose the twenty pounds I wanted to lose before the reunion (was that even realistic?) but it didn’t matter once I got there, and saw my friend waiting for me at the door. Didn’t matter that I couldn’t find anything to wear, and couldn’t get my hair done, or my nails, or buy new shoes.
And yet, it was nice to be reminded that life was once good, and fun, a long time ago. A lot has happened. It was nice, for a few hours at least, to not have to deal with all the recent pain and humiliation of the last few years, and the therapy that has turned into a nightmare. Good to remember how we all used to have so much fun, just hanging out together, and laughing, and being silly. And good to be with people who have known me forever. Sweet and blessed relief, to be with real friends, not the phony church stuff, or the workplace drama.
Heavy talks, about marriages and divorces, and how we have learned the hard way that a marriage destroyed by an affair will just never be the same, no matter what the counselor says. That the truth would have been so much healthier, and easier to bear without all the platitudes and false hope. It would have been nice to have the music not quite so loud, so we could hear each other, and talk more. And we missed our friends who weren’t there tonight.
Stayed away from the bullies, because some of them don’t look much friendlier than they did in fifth grade, and enjoyed the few who seemed like they grew up to be pretty decent people. Saw one woman who, for some weird reason, had stopped on her way up the stairs one day in elementary school and slapped me across the face. Hard. Did not see the one who kept trying to stuff me in a locker in middle school, thank God. Tried to eat, with my jaw that still will not open all the way, and made a complete mess of it. Oh, well.
And wish with all my heart, that I had more time. After not seeing my friends since my wedding, twenty-five years ago, it was just not enough time. (And I made them promise to never let me do that wedding thing again without at least doing a background check first.)
I have always been blessed with good friends, for as long as I can remember. For all the people who have turned out to be false (and there really have not been that many) I have always had the best of friends. And it’s true: while I love my new ones, there is nothing like an old friend that you share memories with from twenty or thirty years ago. Nothing. And I tend to not lose friends; once I make them, they’re for life. It makes me feel like a very wealthy woman; rich in family, and rich in friendships. I may be semi-homeless, and so far below poverty level that I can’t see the line if I look up, but I don’t believe I will ever lack for friends. It’s just something God has blessed me with. And, I am truly grateful.
I’m glad I went. Cried all the way home, because I love and miss my friend Janice, and now she is driving back to Utica, and I just got to see her for a couple of hours. And tomorrow I have to go to church and will hopefully not run into my counselor, and have to deal with all the horror of this thing-that-just-cannot-possibly-be-happening to my life, but just for tonight, I had fun.
Mike Logan said:
I could so identify. The only high school reunion I have been to was my 30th. I had just finished grad school, nearing the end of a career change, and had been broke for too long. When I got to the location, it took every bit of courage I had to walk through the door. Although I had a good time, as I was leaving, and even now as we are at 46 years, I could not believe how much emotional energy I had invested in that high school period of my life. I am a little chagrined that as a mental health professional, I was really unaware of it. Mike
Stacey, I love you. I know we are “only” an hour away and it sometimes seems as if it is halfway around the world….. But, know that we will always be connected. It is comforting knowing that you are at my finger tips. I am so thankful that I have found you, Samantha and Gillian again. Life seems to get in the way at times, but it was so effortless picking up where we left off. There is so much history there and a bond that is indescribable. Those were our impressionable years. I have such a sense of comfort when I think of my closest friends that were there for me during that time that know my secrets and fears and embarrassing moments, and you all still accept me for me. LOL. It’s all good. Reunions are surreal. But, as we both are aware we walked away even more blessed. I promise we will get together on a more regular basis. 🙂 Janice