15 April, 2008

Curiosity Killed the Cat

My 20 year reunion is creeping ever closer.  Although I will not be attending, I am ever more curious about what has happened to my classmates; where they have landed; and the professions that they have chosen.  It is always interesting to see how much people changed or perhaps how little I knew about them in high school - perhaps how little they knew about themselves. 
And what about me?  Would those who knew me way back when be surprised at where I am now? 
Yes and no I would guess. 
I look back on the 17 year old girl that I was and realize that I kind of knew the direction I wanted to take, but I am not sure that anyone else did.  I never had a "calling" to go one way or another, but after seeing the "Day After", the direction of my career was set.  I would do something that involved international relations and the government. 
Pretty vague, no?
Despite a few side roads and stops to smell the flowers, my profession has stayed on track.  Reaching my ultimate goal is taking much longer than expected, but then again, perhaps the best journeys are those that take a bit longer and include various surprises along the way. 
But 20 years is a long period of time when I stop and think about it.  Twenty years that, for me, were about travel and school and motherhood and adjustment. 
I was never one of those who had ideas regarding the future of each classmate.  I never tried to predict "this person will be..." (My daughter is not so fortunate as I enjoy trying to figure out what she will do professionally 'after the dance career' that is)  I know that there are classmates who have had wonderful military careers while others have gone into medicine and business.  There are teachers, parents, singles, divorces, and a few classmates are no longer with us.  And, there are a few like me who are making the best of the hand that we are dealt.  A friend of mine, 2500 miles away, recently sent me this.  She was in the top of our class and looking forward to a career - even a few years ago she was looking ahead to a profession:
Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anyway to have the best of both worlds.  That is why I’m still where I’m at and basically don’t have a “career”.   I can’t imagine how I could get through and help my kids if I didn’t get off when I did or I had to work overtime, etc. so I’ve just stayed here where they work with my hours and let me take care of my kids.  It’s just not easy being a working mother, that’s for sure.  
I know that she is not alone as she is exactly where I am.  I am sure that we are not alone!  But how many of us are here?  Where have we ended up?  Inquiring minds want to know!
I am not sorry to not be attending my reunion.  I know some live for these events and others thrive on them once the time approaches.  I never really have a desire to attend.  However, that natural curiosity persists.  I want to read about the surprises and the journeys that others have taken.  I want to say "Wow" because the guy that nearly dropped out is now this amazing success story and cheer for each of us because... well, we survived high school and that, in itself, is something to celebrate!


Mike said...

Next year is 25 for me and I still don't care like I didn't care then. It's only been 13 years since Chiropractic college. I keep in touch with a few who I like, but for most of them I could care less.

Anonymous said...

I was curious but not enough to attend. I was a "nobody" in school. I'm not anywhere right now that I'm proud of either

JustRun said...

This year is 10 for me-- I hadn't planned on attending, but no one has sent invites or notices either. I can't decide if I should be thankful or disappointed. :)

cathouse teri said...

Thirty this year for me. I don't think we're having one. We haven't had one since the tenth, as far as I know.

I did attend that one, but only because I happened to be in town.

It was nice to just see people. I suppose there might be an element of "so what have you done with your life?" but for the most part, people were just there for the fun of it. That yucky, competetive part was reserved for a small portion of the people who were competitive in HS. Some of them grew up for real, so that made the portion smaller. :)

Kat Wilder said...

I only went to one, many years ago. Not too many showed up; we were kind of an anti-school clique group (one might even say a clique!)

What I do feel sad about, though, is having lost track of some of my then-close friends. We grew apart — in life experiences, in interests, in actual physical distance.

I imagine even with all the differences in how everyone turned out, most are vaguely happy, if unsettled in midlife and struggling with many of the same issues everyone else is — kids, aging parents, a feeling of, "is this it?"

High school was just a blip on the road of our life, and we tried to figure things out with a teenaged brain. That says plenty!

The Exception said...

Being from the small town in the middle of the mountains as I am, the classes were small and the reunions seem to be a big deal. There are a few of us not going, but most of the class (plus some) will attend. I am hoping to get back to the 25th (yes, there will be one) just to see how the men are balding! ;)