Tuesday, November 1, 2016

291. The Joy

I don’t think a lot about high school anymore. My northern Wisconsin hippie school in the woods was a weird, weird place. It probably still is a weird place for people who go there, work there, and live there. It’s been 10 years since I graduated, and seven years since I’ve visited. It’s weird how many things we think we’ll hold on to in our lives that we end up letting go. I don’t chat with very many of my classmates anymore. I only text/call/see and handful, and that’s a few times a year at best. That makes me sad, but it has also freed my mind up a little bit.

I no longer worry about “the administration” at school, nor do I agonize over the future of the school. What’s done is done, and I’ve taken away what I can from it. I’m ok, and they look like they are ok. It was like your first love. The whole experience was magical, frustrating, awesome, wonderful, and, at times, sad. There are parts of you that want to go back, but I think there comes a point when you realize that it wasn’t all that great: the constant emotions, the awkward experiences, the needless social pressure. There were at times that high school really, really sucked.

We have a reunion coming up next summer. I’m going to go. There will be spouses, and kids, and other interlopers there. I will not be married. I will not be bringing kids. Who knows if I’ll bring a girlfriend. I think that’s ok. I’ll bring me.

I’ve wondered if my ex-girlfriend is coming. I’ve thought about shooting her a Facebook note, but I don’t think I’m going to ask. I don’t really want to see here, but I don’t not not want to see her. (Sorry for the double negative.) Anticipation and mystery is a dying trait in our culture, and I think I want to keep it alive for just a while longer.

I spoke with one of my high school friends yesterday. We talked a little bit about our alma mater and the upcoming reunion. She said that she had recently felt the pull to call up the headmaster and tell him that she’d love to share her work experiences. She works in the global sustainability field, so of course she’d have knowledge worth sharing. However, she hasn’t asked yet. I told her that’s fine. I guess I’m lucky that I feel more of a pull to give back to my college, CSB/SJU, but I can see where she is coming from.

I’ve narrowed the scope of things that I care about: family, a group of about a dozen friends, soccer, running, faith, writing. I haven’t stopped caring about everything else, but these are the things that I tend to. I metaphorically water that garden and nurture those relationships. My former high school is not on that list. I am ok with that. If I get the invitation to start caring about it on a deeper basis, I’ll restart that relationship. Right now, I’m just happy growing here and figuring out where to go next.

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