Thursday, June 26, 2008

How I Spent My Summer Solstice

June 21st really was the longest day of the year for me -- I got in the car at 3 am CDT and stayed out until 1 am PDT for my 15-year high school mini-reunion. Let me tell you, it was well worth it. It was just a small gathering of the bunch of us who took honors classes together -- some of us having been together since elementary.

This really couldn't have come at a better time for me. I've spent all these years out marauding around the country -- it was great to come back to my roots, especially since my parents moved out of the area about a year after graduation and I've had no occasion to run into anyone. At the cores of our beings, none of us has really changed. What was especially wonderful was to find myself in a room full of happy, confident people who do not derive their identities/self-worth from their jobs. I've felt like an odd-ball in this sense in the places I've found myself all these years away. Turns out, our whole cohort is like this and I either learned this from them or alongside them. So refreshing. My impression of reunions is a bunch of people clobbering each other with how successful/happy/better they are...pretending to be. This factor was decidedly absent from this gathering. Nowhere to be found. We were genuinely curious and celebratory of everyone's paths since the last time we were together, and everyone seemed to be quite comfortable in their skin. Fantastic!

I'm not sure how to describe my exact feeling in seeing everyone so healthy, happy and content. Joyful? Satisfied? Affirmed? All of the above? I don't think I'll press the issue, just revel in the feeling.

These next pics are for my Mom. She fed these people lots of free and/or discounted donuts, which they remembered. I suspect she was more popular with them than I was because of it. (Also, I was kind of a rowdy numbskull. Like I said, none of us has changed much.)

Tammy, Jim, & Tom
(Mom, you probably remember Tom as the super tall kid who came in with Keith and the rest of the swimmers.)

Sara, Mike & Tammy -- The Bus 'D' crew.

Alas, not everyone was able to make it, but we enjoyed being together so much there is talk of making this an annual event -- especially since everyone but Sara and I live within an hour or so of each other. Can't wait 'til next year!

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