My head is swirling with old memories of high school right now. I’ve just spent two wonderful days with a friend that I went to high school with, but who I hadn’t seen for about fifteen years. We were closest during our last year of high school. Her visit sparked me to dig out my old grade 12 annual and read all of those little paragraphs friends wrote to fill any white space they could find. You know the kind, “remember that great party at so and so’s house” and “we finally did it! We can get out of here at last!” and “I’ll never forget skipping French class with you”…and on and on. I laughed over some of the phrases that we used that you never hear people say anymore like, “that was choice” or “we’ll have a panic”. Almost all of these little notes said “let’s keep in touch”. But we didn’t. It’s been thirty years now since I’ve seen most of them. A couple of them have even passed away.
I feel a little sad that we let those friendships slip away from us but I know that all of us (most of us) are such different people from who we were back then. And that’s a really good thing, can you imagine if we were still going around saying “choice!” and wearing those Farrah Fawcett hair do’s? Although I know some of the guys wish they had their full heads of hair back and many of us would still like our eighteen year old waist line. Change is good though. Change is necessary.
We have our thirty year grad reunion coming up this September and many of us have re-connected on Facebook. I’ve been looking at the photos of these “kids” online and comparing them to the pictures I have in my annual. Everyone has changed of course but I like that I can still see the young seventeen or eighteen year old in them too…when I squint my eyes and lean way back.
Nostalgia is a funny thing. It mixes all your feelings in one pot. There are happy memories that may have grown slightly idealized over time and there may be a few sharp memories of some not so happy times peppered in. There is the flavour of yearning for the past but occasionally the bitter taste of some regret sneaks in, as well as a good shot of “phew!” It can leave me feeling a bit unsettled. Pass the Alka Seltzer please.
Its fun looking back but I’m happiest focusing on right now and right now I’m going to take a good book and find a comfy chair and some shade beside the lake to lounge in.
It’s gonna be choice!