Monday, July 25, 2011

We Went to School Here and It Was OK.

Photo credit: Tadd Gleason

Friday night a bunch of us crazy kids left our reunion social and headed over to our high school to paint the rock (a T. F. South High School tradition) in honor of the Class of 1991. In recent years, the painting tradition has expanded to part of the sidewalk near the rock, too, so one of my classmates painted the phrase "I went to school here and it was OK" on the sidewalk. I think all of us agreed that it was the perfect motto for our high school experience. We were good kids then and for all of us high school was just something we had to get through on the way to all the other things we wanted to do with our lives. It wasn't great, but with twenty-years' hindsight, I think we all agree it wasn't incredibly painful either.

Many of my friends I reconnected with at the reunion I hadn't seen in almost the whole twenty years since graduation. The quality I was most struck by in all my friends is how kind they are. We're all leading ordinary lives and carrying the burdens that go along with being thirty-eight, but along with this everyone seems to have prioritized having a deep sense of humanity. We were good kids and we try hard to be good adults, too.

As you move through the various experiences and situations of life, there are always people you take along with you, and people you leave behind. For the longest time, I didn't retain any friendships from high school. After graduation, I needed to move on and keep going for reasons independent of those friendships, yet those friendships were casualties of the path I had to take. This weekend I remembered that there is a group of people from high school that are really important to me. I'm grateful for things like reunions and Facebook for helping us reconnect. Sometimes going back helps you go forward.

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