Thursday, 15 November 2007

Reunions

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Photo by Clara Natoli

Last week an old school friend managed to hunt me down on the internet. (Hi Sheri!) We haven’t seen each other in a long time, but writing to her felt just like it used to when we wrote notes to each other in High School. Okay... I “wrote” notes, she typed them. Most of our written conversations happened when she was in typing class and supposed to working! ;-)

Someone else I know found an old lost love from High School online last week, but in her case the surprise was less appealing. Her move-star look-alike ex-boyfriend is now a little saggy, a lot chubby... and bald. She had been planning to try to arrange a reunion - now she’s not so sure!

Some reunions are wonderful - you get to catch up, you chew over all the old memories and you remember why you liked each other so much in the first place. Or, like my other friend, you realize some dreams are better remembered from afar. ;-)

Seven years ago my High school sent out letters inviting us all back for a school reunion. I’m not a fan of forced reunions. I declined their invitation, but I did answer their request to “give them my details for their magazine”. That letter has been on my mind today, as I was busy exchanging info with my long-lost friend. I was rereading (saved on my computer) and thought I’d share it here. Some of it is too personal to make any sense in a general blog, but most of it would probably fit anyone’s high school memories.


Hello everyone!

I doubt that many will remember me, I certainly tried my best NOT to be remembered back in those days! At the end of my 5 years at High School I doubt if even a dozen people really knew anything about me, but it never bothered me, I knew me and that was all that ever mattered. I was never sent to detention, not because I was good but because I was never caught out. I never saw the point in deliberate rebellion.

I have no regrets. I never liked school much, but then why should anyone? It’s a most unnatural state. I would be very depressed if I were sitting here now writing to say that those were the best years of my life. And to all of you, please PLEASE, if any of you really do feel that High school was the best years of your life… GO OUT AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE! School was a foundation, not a vocation. Remember the happy times, forget the lousy ones, and move on. How sad it must be if the only triumphs we were ever to have were from our school days. I do hope that most of you have grown more than that. I know I have.

When I sat at the final assembly I remember looking around at everyone and feeling a deep sadness that this time in my life was over, but I felt no urge to try and prolong it nevertheless. Life is all about change and it’s subsequent loss and that is something that is better embraced than denied. I have no desire to know what has become of those I knew back then. They are my past, not my present and most definitely not my future. I walked out of School with no dreams or wishes, strange as that may sound. I always wanted life to be an adventure, a surprise, and as such I had no fixed paths for my future. And the past 20 years have been all I could have hoped - terrible, wonderful, boring and bizarre but never EVER predictable. I have done things that the schoolgirl me never imagined, experienced joys she had no notion of and suffered calamities way beyond her basic fears. They have made me who I am today. I like who I am today, I like what I have become and what I stand for. Who can ask for more than that?

What of the past 20 years? If I were to write at length on what I’ve done I’m sure it would bore you all, I know it would bore me! Who really cares anyway? At school I was most likely remembered for what I did rather than what I thought. That makes it seem appropriate now to end by being remembered for what I think rather than what I’ve done.

So to all of my year classmates - God bless, good luck and go well. I hope you all are living lives you enjoy, even if they’re not the ones you were dreaming of back then in High School.

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10 comments:

  1. Oops, I think my school years were my best. IT is different, you know? It isn't about achievements or being a big fish in a small pond. Nope, it was more about not having responsibilities. I loved the carefree days. Now I have responsibilities out the wazoo so it feels like prison. Ironic, isn't it? Most kids think school is a prison. As it turns out, it is the opposite.

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  2. Wow, it sounds like how I felt about my school days. I never felt like it was a place that brought me a lot of joy. My son however, loves going to school. He's more sociable and loves chatting with his friends.

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  3. Hi Jeff

    I still feel more freedom as an adult than as a kid, because my attitude to myself has changed rather than anything external, but I can see your point.

    Hi Blur

    Funny experiences can be so different within families.
    My mom loved school, my dad hated it. I hated junior school. High school was better, but still not my favourite time of life! ;-)

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  4. This is an interesting post!!! :-)))) Personally speaking, I LOVED those school days 'coz during those days, I met my very closest friends who've helped me become who I am today. :-))))

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  5. I used to be a pathologically shy kid in school...

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  6. I love my school friends :)
    I was a harmless kid, but if my friends still think I'm a harmless lamb now, well they will be in for a big shock!

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  7. Amel and Mother Hen.. I can imagine you two would have also been friends with each other if you'd been at school together. ;-)

    Random, ((hug))I so understand. Me too! Especially in junior school.

    It was really only in the last year of high school I started not caring enough to be less shy and actually enjoy the experience. I do regret the fact I never truly experienced school as a fun place the way some kids (like Jeff, Amel, Mother Hen etc)did, but being shy made me discover books.

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  8. And by discovering books, you discover SO MANY different worlds...no wonder you're such a WONDERFUL writer, M! ;-D

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  9. I hated school so much that refused to go to my matric farewell. I went to play pool with a mate instead and had a few beers :-D (to the dissappoinment of a girl who very much wanted me to go with her - and don't get me wrong, I like girls - just HATED school - and big social events :-))

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  10. LOL J, me too! I totally hated junior school. High school was better because I was very lucky to have a few rare GOOD teachers, but all-in-all I really never enjoyed school.

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