Facebook, High School Reunions, Birthdays and Aging

Note or disclaimer or preface or something:  I wrote this article, several months ago, long before the class reunion occurred.  I was going to post it, in advance of the reunion, but I hesitated, intending to go back and edit and re-work it. Call me chicken. Now that I’ve actually attended my class reunion, reacquainted myself with people I’d lost contact with, and heard some of their feelings about our 30-year reunion, I’m posting this, even though it is after the fact.  I looked forward to this reunion with hopeful anticipation, but also with a great deal of dread and anxiety.  I now know I wasn’t entirely alone in that experience.

I do know this for certain, after having attended the reunion:  We are no longer in high school anymore.  I also know my classmates and I have grown and matured into respectful, decent, thoughtful people.  Because of that, I know that my thoughts here will be treated respectfully and sensitively.  It is in celebration of all our successes over the last 30 years that I offer this series of posts as a humble treatise of gratitude for the part each of you have played in making me the person I am today.  Thank you.

malheur_butte My 30-year-high school reunion takes place this summer in a small dusty town in eastern Oregon.  Though there is likely more pavement there now than when I packed my bags and hustled out of there without looking back, the place is still rather small and somewhat dusty in comparison to the lush green venues of Western Oregon and other areas in the Pacific Northwest.  This is not to criticize the place where I spent most of my childhood.  The high desert definitely has a solitary rugged beauty all its own. It is just that I am a mountains, rivers, oceans and trees kind of girl.  I’ll take forest over sagebrush, and beaches over buttes, any day of the week.  Though, admittedly, wild antelope effortlessly bounding across the Oregon outback is certainly a breathtaking sight.  Even so, unable to fully appreciate it at the time that I lived there, I did make haste to get out of that part of Oregon as soon as I could do so and, as I mentioned before, I never looked back.  I subsequently lost all contact with friends and classmates from my high school years. Continue reading