Chapter Three, In Which He Went Anyway
Posted by Trixter on November 28, 2009
A great reason to go to a reunion is to catch up with old friends and see how everyone is doing. A bad reason would be to despair over missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the sole reason it comes along once in a lifetime. I went to my high school reunion for the latter reason, and lack the words to express how overjoyed I was that it led to the former.
I love the phrase “time heals all wounds”, despite how hackneyed and worn it is. It represents what I keep forgetting: The older everyone gets, the more level the playing field gets. There are people I have met in my professional career that would have never given me a second thought in high school (think “computer nerd meet-cutes head cheerleader”), and every time we interact, my inner nerd simply cannot get over the fact that we are interacting. It never ceases to amaze me how normally everyone can get along despite dissimilar backgrounds.
There were a few snags; my cell phone broke this afternoon so I had nothing to take pictures with, and there were two people from the high school radio station that I started to talk to but couldn’t because my ears were shot and I just couldn’t understand them. But those were secondary concerns compared to the best discovery of the evening: Viewing myself through other people’s eyes. We imagine the worst for ourselves, about ourselves, and yet the simplest things can completely turn your entire perspective on life around when you hear things like:
“I wanted to tell you how much your writing influenced me and shaped my own writing.” (It did?)
“I found people to talk to here tonight, and I wasn’t a part of anywhere near the number of clubs and organizations you were in.” (I was?)
“I just wanted to let you know how much I admired your character.” (My what?)
“You need to come over next time [we have a party]; you’d really get along with all the people who come.” (I would?)
I still find it somewhat hard to believe. But I’m starting to.
It’s humbling, and wonderful.