Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We just didn't know.......

We just didn't know
who we were until.....
until when? 
Now, maybe, maybe not ever, 
we just didn't know.....

Reunions of any kind have a way of piquing one's curiosity, imagination, one's ultimate projection of one's own life history possibly onto another person's unrelated existence and history.  Why didn't someone come to a reunion, why didn't they even reply to the invitation, why did so many of us attend?  All good questions to be asked collectively but thought about one by one in reflection - we can't possibly know what another person's story really was or is. 

Yet, I speculated a bit on those who were unable or chose not to attend my recent high school reunion - some absences sadly due to death, others ill health of their own bodies or that of their loved ones and some absences remain hidden, not necessarily to be mourned - only in that I mourn for myself the loss of that person's continuing influence in my life.  Surely in our wondering, at least in mine, there is an element of prayer, an element of hope that they didn't return for a very good reason, that they didn't return out of fear that adult reunion would be the same as insecure or narrow high school thinking was at times, hope that they will find from our inquiries to them that there is an element of concern and love that some may have never felt while a child, a teen, or a young adult in communion with so many others who were obviously.......

Obviously, what?  Corresponding with a friend and revealing  that my years of high school were such a time of insecurity for me, she as much as giggled through the internet at me, thinking I had been one of the more secure amongst us.  Obviously, we didn't know each other at all.  We were children trying to make our way into the world, to detach from our parents, to bring some honor to them in the way of grades or achievement and all of the time......I think.......our parents just wanting us to be safe and secure and to feel loved.  We just didn't know........ 

We just didn't know (some of us actually belonging to the 12 year club of school together) that these little, medium, big, tall, gangly, adorable, beautiful kids were affecting our behavior not only in those 12 years but affecting the behavior we took out into the world with us when we left our hallowed halls.
We just didn't know........


  1. This is fascinating. You see, I'm one of those who would not have returned for the high school reunion, probably would not even have responded to the invitation, simply because I have no interest at all in meeting any of those people again, nor in knowing what they are doing now.

    It's not that I had a bad time at school. I had a small band of friends with whom I was inseparable during those school years, but we lost touch after going our separate ways. A few years ago I did actually hook up with a few of them online via Friends Reunited, but found we no longer had anything in common.

    To me, I think schools are like workplaces. It is the place and the circumstances that bind you together, and those ties are intense and real at the time. But afterwards they are forgotten or just placed in the "pleasant memory" part of the brain.

    Or maybe it's like soldiers who share the intensity of fighting and risking their lives together - it must be meaningless for them to meet years later for a chat over a cup of coffee. Doesn't detract from the intensity of the bond that was shared those years ago.

    So that's my take on it, anyway, if it's any help to you in unravelling part of the puzzle!!

  2. I cannot help you there as I dropped out of high school to go back much much later to finish it and go on to university. When I got to college, I could have been the mother of most of the students. Funnily, I am FB friend with a couple of them...

    I don't believe that high school reunions are done in France. I know it is common in the US.
    There are some, I was going to say 'young women' but they are not young at all any longer since they are my age..., there are some women, one in particular, whom I would love to see again because she was a dear dear friend of mine. Most of the others I have forgotten.

    Interesting post, SS. Thank you.

  3. Coming from a huge class of nearly 600, my response to the big reunions has been mixed since seriously there are 100s of faces I didn't notice then and would clearly not remember (or possibly care to) now. HOWEVER, I wouldn't trade my little impromptu reunion of a few weeks ago for all of the tea in China. I've started to write more, but feel my own post coming on.

    I read the above comments with a torn heart as I see the faces of my past and agree with you that they have shaped me in ways I can't imagine and I am grateful for their presence - all 596 of them.

    Wonderful post! xoxoxo

  4. Tess,
    Thank you so much for your thoughtful response about reunions. I can relate to your experience and understand why my experiences have found me at another place than yours.

    I agree with the fact that schools are like the workplace in some ways in that we pour ourselves into them with daily contact and exposure and then, poof - the job is gone, or school is over, etc.

    The only position that I would still hold true - whether one remains close to old friends or not - is that we do ALL influence other's lives. Maybe a little, maybe a teeny speck but one way or another, I believe every person we even meet and shake hands with at one time or another makes us who we are - scratches faint marks on our psyche.

    I also expect my joy in re-meeting my with my childhood friends - although we seriously have many different interests now - we played, laughed, cried, and learned together for 12 years. That's a lot of formative years for children to spend together. I believe my school mates' status of that many years together is seldom achieved in this day of transfer and residencies all over the world.

    Thank you so much for a clear comment about how we differ on this subject. I learn so much when someone has the heart or interest to explain their side of a thought.


  5. Claire -
    Another comment sort of diametrically opposed to my excitement about reunions.......this for me, is the best thing about blogging pals - once we're comfortable with each other it's great to come up with honest opinions that don't necessarily mirror the blog writer. It stretches me to realize that your story of hs is as natural for you as mine is for me though totally different. You grew up in France (?) I think I remember that but I still had your location in Canada in my mind. CLicking on your nice new photo, I was reminded that you are in PR.

    Thanks as always for your thoughtful comments!


  6. Hey Lucy,
    I have to smile that born to the same parents, once again, we were raised in such diverse situations - 600 people in your graduating class compared to 73 in my little school. I can't imagine how that must have been although I have to compare it as to how I felt when I stepped on a University campus after those 72 and I "broke up".........I was pretty darned lonesome:(

    Your small reunion was perfect in probably as many ways as mine was for me.