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Visiting Your Past i.e. 40 year Class Reunion

Ive started this post about 6 times. This is a tough one. Did I go to my 40th high school reunion? Yes, Yes I did. It took planes trains and automobiles to get me there, but I traveled back to my hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and I am sooooooo glad I did.

Alot of thoughts can enter in when someone is thinking of going back to see the people they've spent the "growing-up part"of their life with. While deliberating whether to go or not, I had a flood of memories start to weigh in on how I felt about going back, and yes, back in time.

Thinking about this little journey, and I'm even having a hard time with this sentence, to think about all of the good and bad people involved in helping me grow into this person and establish the core values of my younger years...it's a lot. You've got the mean kids who hopefully aren't now the mean adults, the smart kids, who will be great success stories, the quiet ones, the shy ones, the jocks, the cheerleaders and the ones I have lightly kept in touch with throughout my life, (which didn't show up at all) and then there are the surprises. The surprises are actually what I am looking forward to most.

But let me weigh in, there is also me. I am not remotely the same person anyone knew in high school, in fact I'm not the same person I was a few years ago. But when you pull into town and see that old Taco Johns still there, ya gotta turn in and get some of those potato Ole's and feel that heavy wave of nostalgia come knock you over with how you stood here in this same spot 40 some years ago and had written checks for those taco's and ole's at $3.98. I laugh to myself as I thoroughly enjoy every single bite with that wonderful fake cheese.

I wasn't a "nobody" but as I look back, I don't feel that accomplishing of myself either. Being a responsible adult and reflecting, I throw a lot of judgment in that direction of immaturity and the feeling of failure. And there it is, it just popped up, "If only I could have known then, what I know now"...that old chestnut. Hmm. But we can't, that isn't how it works. It was a young life of sleeping in, forgetfulness, bad decision making and messing up every single relationship that I ever had. But there are some highlights, and those are the first kisses, best friends, sleepovers, keg parties on the lakes, getting a drivers license, enjoying sports, the music of our time, Calvin Klein jeans and Gunny Sax dresses. Sidenote: look up that style of dress, it's amazing how fantastic we thought it was to own one of these ridiculous monstrosities of a dress.

Hitting the realization that everyone feels differently about their childhood and have or don't have their own perceptions about everyone else, there might be a slight chance that we are all in the same boat full of distortions and old stories that may mean absolutely nothing at this point in time. I went with that.

I decided I am going to go to this reunion and be the best listener, the best hugger, say only positive things to those I am speaking with and just appreciate every person that feels I am worth spending some time with as we reconnect into the older adults we have developed into. It's kind of like meeting someone for the first time, again, with the distant memory of someone who was great on the monkey bars or danced great to Devo.

To be accurate, not everything was fuzzy and warm. There was loss, there was divorce, and there was sadness and loneliness. But I listened my best, hugged my best, smiled and supported and stood with and for those who needed it. I felt like I was on a conveyor belt of emotion. We begin with the proud and excited and worked our way into despair and emptiness and then into confused, thankful and ended up with a deep love and respect for all that had made their way into this reunion experience.

After being very private for such a long time, I am proud of myself for going home and putting myself out there. I have learned so much about the many levels of contentment and happiness for each and every one of us and for us to honor each person right where they are at. For me, many questions were answered, mysteries were solved, and I felt an amazing peace about myself. I was relieved to have discovered, and am enjoying every day since this gathering.

Go to your next reunion! Check in and enjoy the second half of the movie of your life, the one you get to write.

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