I had my 10 year class reunion a little over a week ago now (it synced up nicely with that job interview I had (still no word... I take that as a bad sign. Prayers and good wishes are still appreciated.)). I went expecting to have fun, to see some people I had missed, to catch up with old friends, etc. Generally, a nice time.
I way underestimated. I had an absolute blast.
There were people there that I had completely forgotten exist - people I really liked back in high school, and who I found I really enjoy now too. There were people who I was excited to see that I ended up having really good conversations with - far more than the "so what are you doing now" small talk you'd expect. I became excited to talk to everyone there, and was ultimately sad when I didn't quite get that chance (we had a very large class, a decent number showed up, and I talked to a lot of people, but alas...). And there were people who really impressed me with where they are in life, what they're doing, and most importantly, who they've become. Experiencing the ways that people have kept their best qualities and smoothed over some of their rougher traits was really exciting.
I didn't get as much of a chance to catch up with the people I still keep in touch with, though a breakfast the next day helped alleviate some of that (though my attendance was abbreviated because of a family reunion I had to get to (it was, as is typical when I'm back in Minny, a very busy weekend.)). Despite that, I still had just an awesome time. Two principle thoughts struck me from the night:
First, and this was really built on some things my folks have said, reflecting on their respective reunions: the thing about class reunions is that, generally speaking, the only people who go are the people who are happy with themselves. And I definitely found that to be true. Everyone there really seemed happy with their lives, no matter what they were or weren't doing. I think this might be more true for a 10 year reunion than other ones. In high school, of course, not everyone likes who they are. Heck, it's almost the opposite. So getting to experience the way people have grown to be happy with their lives was awesome.
Second: it's remarkable how sometimes where you come from can matter so much more than where you're at. I thought it would be a lot of small talk and catching up. I was surprised by how many real and meaningful conversations I had that night. We were all able to just slip right into a level of comfort that people don't usually achieve in that kind of setting. But there we were, the class of '99, just hanging out, like we'd spent the past 10 years being friends.
One of the people who impressed me most was a guy who has actually moved closer to the school in the past 10 years. I've moved across country. He works for a bank doing mortgage type things, I'm an attorney who fights the banks on their mortgage issues. He's divorced with no kids, I'm happily married with one on the way. Quite different on the surface. But on a deeper level, we really connected. Reconnected really, since we were friends early on in high school. And to me, that was just a real joy to experience. Even though we've gone very different ways, and are at very different points in our lives, we both understood where the other was coming from, because 10 years earlier we'd been there together.
I'm already looking forward to our next reunion.
When you love without desire
Then you know who you are