I was happy to accompany Diana to her high school reunion this year, with a nice dinner party on Saturday, and a picnic on Sunday. We went to another about 5 years ago.
I had the opportunity to chat with several of her classmates, and a few of their spouses. Getting to know a few of them helped me get a better handle on Diana’s origins and formative years. I first met Diana very late in 1992, online at what were then just computer bulletin boards. In short, we didn’t go to high school together. Chatting with her classmates gave me more insight.
One fellow, Brian, was particularly chatty. We agreed that high school reunions are something of an anomaly. It’s one of the only institutions that virtually demands a reunion of people every 5-10 years. But we went on to agree that the high school years help establish who you will become; but does little to aid in discovering who you are. There are certainly things we take away from the experience, but we don’t always realize it right away.
As we were driving home after the picnic on Sunday, I reflected on what my own high school experience meant to me. And at the time, it just seemed like I was going through the motions. But now I can honestly say that I was creating a sense of self-esteem that would not fully manifest itself until I was almost 50 years old.
Bottom line: you can learn a lot about yourself by going to someone else’s reunion.
Just make sure you’re invited.