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Thursday, June 11, 2009
Last weekend was the 30th reunion of my high school class. I've been looking over all the pictures on Facebook.

I've never been to one of my high school reunions. I remember hearing about the 10 year reunion, but I don't remember why I didn't go. It probably seemed too early to me. I'm sure I didn't think I'd been "successful" enough to go back.

I moved to Indiana about the time of my 20th reunion, literally. I moved up here around Memorial Day weekend. The reunion would have been in early June. When the 25th came around, we were in raising money for adoption mode. I wouldn't have made the long & expensive trip down there. Now it's my 30th, and I didn't really think about going.

It's funny because in the last few months, I've become Facebook friends with many of my old classmates. I was very happy to see they had posted so many photos in the last few days, and I have spent hours looking over them.

They've given me the oddest feelings. I look at these faces. Some are familiar; most are not. I look at the names. Same thing. For the most part I think who are these people? I don't even know what I would say to them if I'd gone. I'm sure they're all very nice, I just don't know them. How can we have gone to school together for three years?

The other day I exchanged messages with the one friend from high school with whom I am still in contact. She didn't attend either. We're both in the midwest and our Florida high school is quite the trip. I told her that the feeling I had when I looked at all the pictures was that I would have felt strange and out of place at the reunion. Then I laughed as I realized that I pretty much felt strange and out of place in high school. No wonder those are the feelings that came up.

My high school was the 10th school I attended (I think, I feel like I'm leaving some place out). I was pretty used to being the new kid in the school, and I was again. The first few months saw me spending a lot of time in the library, but soon I made my group of friends. I had a great group of friends in high school. I became very involved in drama and felt like I had a pretty good high school experience. Yet I see those faces and wonder why I don't remember more about them?

I left that town about a year after I graduated from high school. There was nothing wrong with the town other than it didn't fit the wanderlust that had hit me. I wanted more excitement, but then who doesn't at 19?

Most people remain connected to a town through friends and family. By the time my 10th reunion was scheduled, I'd lost touch with all of my high school friends, except for Lori, and everyone in my family had moved away. There was nothing to bring me back.

I'm sad about that.

When I look at the photos of people having a good time reminiscing and reconnecting, I envy them. The curse of the nomadic life that I've led is that you leave people behind, and it becomes too easy to keep doing that.

If you give me a week's notice, I could be packed and ready to move anywhere. It used to only be a few day's notice, but a husband and child add a lot of baggage. I would move on without a second glance and start over (as long as that husband and child were with me).

Though some might consider this an admirable trait, I'm no longer as proud of this ability as I used to be.

I now find myself envying those who have long, deep ties to a community. I envy those who live near family, who have generations of roots surrounding them, who still know their best friend from kindergarten, who have a support system who could be at their side within moments, and who can also be right there to support their loved ones as well.

I've now lived in this community for 10 years. This is the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my entire life. Prior to this, the record was 5 years. Obviously, this is also the longest I've ever worked at the same job. What's odd though is that somewhere along the way, I quit assimilating.

With so many new schools, new towns, new jobs, etc..., I became quite the expert in finding my group and making friends. I can't do it anymore. I forgot how. Don't get me wrong, I know quite a few people around here. In fact, I've met some wonderful people around here. But I find that I keep them at arm's length. I'm sure there's some deep psychological reason. Maybe I've had to say good-bye to too many best friends, so I just don't let myself have one anymore. I miss having a best friend. I miss having a girlfriend I could call at any time who would meet me somewhere for a drink or an ice cream binge where we moaned and groaned about our lives.

In my life now, my husband is truly my best friend. When I need my girl bonding, I have my sisters. But since none of them live within a 12-hour drive, it doesn't really completely fill that best girlfriend need.

Wow, I have meandered everywhere. This post started with my high school reunion and ended with me missing having girlfriends. Oh well, I guess this is what happens when I quit posting for a while. Everything gets all bottled up, and then I purge.

I don't know the answers. I'm not even sure I know the questions. I do, however, wish I had gotten to know so many of those faces from my high school better. I wish I had let them get to know me. I wonder how many of them even remember me?



Blogger a Tonggu Momma said...

I feel this same way! I attended eight schools from kindergarten through twelfth grade. And I don't have any ties to the town where I graduated. We live only an hour away, but I don't know that I'll go back for my 20th reunion. I barely remember anyone and, those I do remember, were nomads like me.

I've lived in my current house and town for six years. It's been more difficult to put down roots than ever before. I find I don't have as much energy because everything seems so transient.

Blogger Tammie said...

Quite an interesting post Magi!

A few months ago, one of the girls that I knew from 4th-11th grade contacted me on Facebook. I say "knew" in a very roundabout way. Our moms were friendly & even played mah jongg together. I was a very shy person growing up & many of my peers in school thought I was a snob. Apparently this person must have really known me. She asked me if I ever got over being painfully shy. Wow! What a shock to realize that someone hit it on the head. Since then, I've gotten brave & "friended" people who I "knew" for most of my formative years. The ones that I'm really in contact with now are people I was afraid of. Now? I look forward to their comments & insights.

I too never went to any of my reunions. I left my hometown right after my junior year. No one knew how to contact me since I wasn't really friendly with anyone. And now, I have too much going on in my life.

My best friend? David. The guy I fell in love with at 19 & have been married to for almost 21 years. I don't need any of those people because they never did & never will know the real me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...


you and I are kindred spirits in this regard! In fact, I don't have Facebook, I figure I don't know these people any more. I hope they are all well, but I have moved so much and my life has nothing to do with the people from highschool. I had my friends, and it wasn't a bad time in life, YET I have too little energy to go back and try to rekindle...BUT I wish I would have stayed in touch more all through the years...

I could move anywhere in a week! Love to move.

Blogger Theresa said...

I feel exactly the same way. I haven't lived in the same house for more than two years since I was seven years old, and have had to leave many friends behind. While I try to make close friends, I find that I also end up "holding them at arm's length," including Casey. Casey has lived his entire life in the same town, as a matter of fact, and the fact that he has a very tight circle of friends has made me feel jealous from time to time.

It's okay, though, because the kind of life that we led has allowed us certain advantages: knowing how to adapt to a new situation and experiencing a variety of people and places. It's tough, but so are we! :)

Blogger Marcia said...

I too feel the same way. I guess that is why I want my kids to stay in the same place and feel like they belong. I've lived here longer than anywhere else and I've never felt as friendless as I do here! I too wish we lived closer and that our children could be close. I was always jealous of all of those people who grew up around grandparents, cousins, etc,..

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