This weekend my high school class got together to celebrate the year of our 60th birthdays.
It was really nice.
Even though it was savagely hot and humid, we toughed it out last night in a pavilion overlooking the boat basin of our local beach.
We sweated, reminisced, ate and drank for about six hours.
I reveled in the wonderful feeling of knowing most of these people since we were children. I moved from person to person, enjoying this unique community.
Unlike our early reunions, I experienced acceptance, closeness and familiarity. There were no airs and no need to impress. We’ve all had our challenges and people we have lost. Some of us are married, and some are not. There was sadness, but mostly joy.
It was nice to go from person to person and find out what they are up to. Some are embarking on a new career. Some are even retired.
One of the guys I hadn’t seen since graduation was standing on the steps. I knew I knew him, but couldn’t figure out how until he said his name.
“Oh my God, we played flute together in the band and orchestra. I can’t believe it. It’s so good to see you.” We got caught up on the last 42 years. WOW!!!
Some were old friends, some were new, and a couple were guys I had dated. We discussed our families, past memories, and difficult conversations we were now having with our own children.
I feel lucky to have such a great bunch of people in my life. Ten years ago, before our 50th birthday party, I didn’t feel like a part of the group. I was in a funk, unhappy, and ashamed of the weight I had gained and not been able to lose. I almost didn’t go. But an incredible thing happened once I got there – no one seemed to care how I looked. Instead, they welcomed me with open arms and reminded me how FUN I was in high school.
“I was FUN?” I asked myself. “Really? Why don’t I remember that? Where did that fun girl go? What happened to me since my marriage in 1994?”
That was a wake up call. I spent several years soul searching and uncovering my old self. Gradually, I remembered who I was: smart, athletic, fun, funny, respected and liked. It was an important time in my life.
I am thankful for this community. They woke me up.
I had been waiting for my husband to change so I could be happy. He shouldn’t have to change. And I didn’t have to stay married. It was freeing. 4 years ago I got divorced and created a new life for myself that I love.
It all started with a classmate saying how fun I was. Other classmates told me I didn’t have to stay unhappy. And another one helped me stay strong through my divorce.
I owe my new life to the class of 1977. I wrote a memoir about that part of my life. I can’t thank them enough for being there when I SO needed them, even though I didn’t know it at the time.
Thank you Class of 1977. I can’t wait to see you again, soon.