Thirty-Five Years

My graduating class doesn’t know how to reach me, so they sent the message to my mom: We’re having a reunion. I wish I could say I was excited about it, but truth be told, I barely remember those years. All during high school, my closest friends were college kids from church who didn’t know I was still in high school. And because of the transitory nature of college students, I have no friends from my high school days–I lost touch with all of them.

From among the kids who wandered the halls of Bryan High, I couldn’t tell you who married whom, who is now famous, who wound up serving time. I can’t tell you from the college crowd I hung out with who married whom, who got what job, who climbed the corporate ladder. Even from my own college days, there are precious few I remember and vaguely know how their lives went.

I was thinking of this just the other day, maybe because of the reunion announcement, that the friendship I’ve held the longest is the one I made when we first moved here sixteen years ago. I know people my age who still have friends from their youth, but for the most part, these people live in or near their hometowns.

Society is so mobile these days. Friends leave to pursue their careers, move away from family and friends–from their roots, if they ever had any. Add to that the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality that seems so prevalent, and it’s a wonder how anyone can have long-term friendships.

Am I going to my reunion? Probably not. I can’t muster up the curiosity. I have a suspicion I know how it turned out. The popular crowd ceased to be popular outside the cocoon of school and handled the news of their ordinariness in various ways, from deep despair to a shrug of the shoulders. Those of us who were late bloomers rose to their zeniths in whatever they considered important and handled their moments in the sun in various ways, from insufferable egos to a shrug of the shoulders. At fifty-three, all our kids are adults and starting to give us grandkids; many of us are enduring the early symptoms of aging–arthritis, paunch, bald spots. Some are superstars, most are average. And the majority of them don’t remember me any more than I remember them.

No, I think I’ll hold out for the fiftieth reunion.

Next up in the CW Blog Chain–September, School Posts:

Kat Connolly – Kat’s Musings
Traci Bonney – Tracings
Adam Collings – The Collings Zone – 9/11
Sheila Hollinghead – Sheraly – 9/13
Tracy Krauss – Expression Express – 9/15
Janalyn Voigt – Notes From the Edge – 9/16
Edward Lewis – Sowing the Seeds – 9/20
Kerri Gallion – Just Writing – 9/21
Victor Travison – Lightwalker’s View – 9/22
Nona King – Word Obsession – 9/24
Suzanne Hartmann – Write at Home – 9/28

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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33 Responses to Thirty-Five Years

  1. TraciB says:

    Linda, I can completely relate. We moved a lot when I was younger, so my friendships were transitory; while we were together, I had a few close friends, but once we moved I lost touch with them. Perhaps if we’d had the Internet around when I was a kid things might have been different…

    I’m adding your post to my blog chain list. I hope you’ll do the same with mine.

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      I bet you’re right, Traci. The internet and Facebook would’ve made a lot of difference.

      I didn’t realize you weren’t on my sidebar. I’ll remedy that right now!

      Like

  2. Naomi Musch says:

    Well said. I just skipped my 30th. Oddly, some of my high school acquaintances have become facebook friends, but most of those I was closest to don’t do FB or go to those reunions. I looked at the pictures from the reunion on FB, and I could hardly identify a soul. Nope. Didn’t miss going.

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      I haven’t come across anyone from high school on FB, but I guess since I don’t know anyone’s married name–and they don’t know mine–I probably won’t.

      Like

  3. I was mercilessly teased in high school. Though I have received the occasional notification of a reunion, I wasn’t much motivated to go, even if I had the time and money to make the trip. Gee, I wonder what they’d think if they found out I’m an author now … 😉

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      That was me, Victor. Being one of a very few redheads caused me to be teased quite a bit, starting in grade school. It took me awhile to learn how to handle it.

      Like

  4. Keith McCormick says:

    I opted out of mine, because what once was an embedded anger from my school days of teasing and bullying, I have reversed with comedy and laughter. I guess I should have gone just to thank them for the life I have today.

    Like

  5. Lorna G. Poston says:

    Think of it as research. Maybe a future novel depends on you to write a story about a woman who went to her high school reunion—maybe to right a wrong or fall in love again with the boy she left behind. Just thinking…:)

    Like

  6. E G Lewis says:

    You’ve tapped into a universal experience here…sorta like the Statler Borhers’ old hit The Class of ’57. Great post.
    Peace and Blessings.

    Like

  7. KatC says:

    Ha! I’m amongst friends here! My high school days weren’t the best either.

    But I’ve made some new friends from my High School on Facebook and it’s been fun. Very interesting to see who is a Christian and who is not. It takes me by surprise. But I’m sure they are surprised that I’m a Christian now, too!

    Great post, Linda – you didn’t need the coffee.

    Kat

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      I guess bad memories from high school are more common than I thought! Nice to know I’m not alone.

      But you’re right. It would indeed be interesting to see who from the Class of ’75 has been saved!

      Like

      • And the Class of ’71, in my case.

        I know at least two guys became Christians, partly because of me, even though my witnessing skills were more toward the hellfire and brimstone vein than the gentle persuasion I use now. I know this, because they told me when I met them years later! Isn’t it funny how the Lord works through our weakness? \o/

        ~ VT

        Like

  8. TraciB says:

    Amazing how many of us had similar experiences in school – being teased, feeling like an outsider, having a difficult time making friends. Maybe that’s part of the writer’s life – look at how many past writers and artists went through episodes of rejection and isolation. Perhaps it’s because we feel deeply and notice things more accutely…

    P.S. – Thanks for adding me to the blog roll, Linda!

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      You’re welcome. And you’ve got a good point. The lonely high school years may be part of a writer’s “backstory.” I hadn’t thought that before.

      Like

  9. Tracy Krauss says:

    It’s true that we tend to ‘fall’ out of touch with people that seemed so important at one time. I guess it comes down to one’s true interests instead of the artificial (and sometimes shallow) one’s that tend to be thrust upon us in our youth.

    Like

  10. Good post, Linda. I attended three high schools. Two of the high schools I attended were huge. I just remember a sea of faces! The last one I attended my senior year had a graduating class of 93. The majority had grown up together, so I was very much an outsider.

    A non-reunion person here!

    Like

  11. Linda Yezak says:

    Victor–What wonderful news! Don’t you love it when the Lord lets you know you’ve been of service? What a blessing!

    Like

  12. K.M. Weiland says:

    Might be good writing research! In Naming the World, Bret Anthony Johnston wrote a funny piece about the inspiration he gleaned from his high school reunion.

    Like

  13. I attended my ten year reunion. It was close enough to graduation that it still felt like ‘yesterday’ but it was interesting to see the changes in people – how many were married – some had kids. I was engaged at the time.

    It has now been 16 years – and it feels a little more distant. It’s interesting how people assume that their school friends will influence their entire lives, and yet so often we don’t have any conact with them after we leave.

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      It’s funny to look at reunions over a lifetime. From the early years (who got married?), to the middle years (who’s still married?) to the final years (who’s still alive?).

      Thanks for the comment, Adam!

      Like

  14. Nona King says:

    Linda, I didn’t go to my 20th, which was this past June, for much the same reason. There is only 1 person from my high school class that I have kept in touch with. My other close friends are either fans of my writing, friends from my entire life and not a portion of it, or close friends of me and my husband. I am a student of the school of thought “Quality, not quantity” when it comes to friends. Of course, it is extremely difficult for me to open that particular part of my soul to others due to past history. 🙂 But that’s another blog-post entirely. Suffice it to say God has been utilizing life to impart to me the importance of friendships, and CW is helping!

    ~Blessings,
    Nona

    Like

  15. Linda Yezak says:

    Nona, I’m glad to be counted as one of those CW helpers!

    Like

  16. Linda, I’m with you. I haven’t gone to any of my reunions either. I prefer reunions of another kind: with family.

    Like

  17. linda yezak says:

    Janalyn, family reunions are the best!!!

    Like

  18. Kerri Gallion says:

    I definitely know what you mean in this post. This made me think back to high school days and how I was one of those “late bloomers”. I, too, do not go to my reunions and have only been asked once I believe.

    Like

    • Linda Yezak says:

      One thing about all us “late bloomers”: we survived. I think many of us are better, more compassionate people because of the trials and tribulations during our younger years.

      Thanks for the comment, Kerri.

      Like

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