What High School Reunions Can Bring Up

native_american_thunderbird_by_mayonessa-d8906ru

My high school mascot: A Thunderbird

I just received a reminder that my 45th high school reunion is coming up soon. My first response is I simply cannot believe that I graduated from high school 45 years ago. How did that happen? So I turned to my yearbooks to remember a bit about high school.

wasson highI went to high school in Colorado Springs from 1970 to 1973. I was not active in clubs or any other extra curricular activities. The way I remember it, I was horribly shy. I had very low self-esteem so I kept my head down, hoping that nobody would notice me. And in fact, most people don’t remember me at all.

I hated everything about high school. I hated my home life, and I hated how I felt at school. The best way to describe me looking back from my 45-years-later perspective is flat affect. I just kept wondering if my life would ever get better. I remember at high school graduation singing that German song from Cabaret: “Tomorrow belongs to me…” over and over in my head.

So glad I hung in there, because everything got better with college. I went to Colorado College, the one where my father taught. As soon as I got there I felt like I fit in much better. For the first time I was constantly around fellow eggheads, finally completely academically challenged. Slowly through the past four decades I have become more at home in my own body and freer to become my true self.

The hardest battle you will face in life is to be no one but yourself, in a world which is trying its hardest to make you like everybody else!

Now I see this maturation process as peeling the onion of my soul. At first I only felt safe taking off the most outer layers, exposing my true self very slowly and carefully, so afraid of what others might think or say. When I finally got some counseling in my early thirties, my therapist noted how often I said, “People think this…” And she would challenge me with, “Who are these people?” It was not easy, but I have finally found my true self in the midst of too much feedback from others, and a generous number of rules in my own mind.

Sunflowers on a county road

My commute home from La Veta Colorado…

I have never attended a high school reunion, but I am seriously considering it this time. We live only a couple hours southwest of Colorado Springs now, and I am quite curious. Perhaps I should go find out who I went to high school with, because I suspect none of us are anything like we were in high school.

How did we all turn out? For a REALLY FUNNY take on high school reunions, go here!

Laura & Rasta Xmas-2012-CROPPEDLaura Lee Carter is a professional photographer, writer and psychotherapist. Her midlife crisis included a divorce and the loss of her career as an academic librarian, misfortunes she now finds supremely fortuitous, as everything wonderful flowed from these midlife challenges. Laura now sees midlife difficulties as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for personal liberation. Laura Lee has produced five books on midlife change. Don’t miss: A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado.

 

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12 thoughts on “What High School Reunions Can Bring Up

  1. It sounds like an interesting experiment. I was going to go to my 40th reunion for much the same reason as you, only my political values differ enormously from where I went to high school and realized I’d either get really depressed or start slapping people. So I chose not to. Maybe I’ll try the 45th.

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  2. I went to a small all girls high school and have gone to many of our reunions. Our last big one (30th) was the best as we saw how the “differences” that divided us into cliques have mostly melted away and we just enjoyed each other’s company –sprinkled with laughter over our high school antics and insecurities.

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  3. Fascinating blog post. Aren’t you so glad to be alive and well, pen in hand, looking back, instead of being that frightened young thing, looking forward? I don’t ever get when people say they would like to be eighteen again. This time of life is THE BEST! Anyway, I do hope you attend. You have nothing to lose and perhaps a diverting evening and new friend or two to gain.

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  4. Life is the great leveller. I’ve only been to one reunion, my 22nd, but most everyone had been somewhat humbled by life and things were vastly different!
    BTW, I graduated in ’73 as well. And blossomed after high school. We’re kindred spirits!

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  5. Pingback: Best of Boomer Bloggers Found Here - Unfold and Begin

  6. I graduated in 71 and missed my 45th because I felt too chubby. I didn’t hang out with most of them because I was in Drama and my theater chums were a year younger. I’ve hooked up with a few high school friends on Facebook but never actually hung out with them in school. We don’t have a whole lot in common otherwise.

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