(Originally written Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010)
Hello all. I woke up early this morning despite the lateness of when I went to sleep last night. I’m just… thinking so much! I don’t know if I can put everything I’m feeling and thinking about into words. I thought about getting up and going to church, but I have to get this down on paper.
Last night had a kind of surreal quality to me. Like falling down a rabbit hole and going back in time. But it’s better now than it was in high school because now there is a quality of love and friendship that had not had time to develop back then. Maybe it sounds dorky or overdramatic, but I kind of fell in love last night. I fell in love with us as a class and how close we still are, and how much we really do still mean to each other, how we can come together and have fun, so much fun, despite the years between visits.
For me personally, this morning I somehow feel more ALIVE, more wide open to the world of possibility! It’s hard to explain, but last night there were people there who had always represented limitations for me- restrictions against doing or saying certain things because we were raised in the same religion. Seeing them doing the exact things I had always felt I shouldn’t do for fear of their opinions or judgements… hugely, surprisingly liberating! Maybe they limited themselves because of others’ opinions too. Maybe they were a little concerned about what I thought. (Well, I doubt that, but still, the idea is intriguing.)
Now the question remains, where do I go from here? From the moment this year began, it was significant: 20 years removed from high school! Are we having a reunion? When is it? Let’s PLAN! I have put so much mental energy into this for so long and now it’s over. But in between that, I have been working on this journey of self-discovery, trying to more fully develop who I am as a person: I’ve been trying to improve my health and my body. I could continue to focus on that. I’ve been trying to improve my parenting, trying to help my kids be happy and prepare them for their own adult lives. I could continue to focus on that. I’ve been trying to define myself in a context of my religious and spiritual life, trying to identify just what it is I believe and then really live it. I could continue to focus on that. I’ve been searching for a direction in my career and my job, trying to discover what really, truly I was meant to do, something that fulfills me and makes me love working at it. I could continue to focus on that.
Or I could find something new to try- take a painting or cooking class, join a club, research and plan a trip somewhere, design and landscape my back yard, write the next Great American Novel. The possibilities are just too endless!
Last night for me was a revelation and a removing of some of the chains and shackles I have been carrying for a long, long time. I can definitely say I’ve made progress, however insignificant it may seem. For example, I wore sleeveless shirts both nights of this reunion. In the past, I would have limited myself to something that covered my arms, but this time, I chose to wear something that made me feel beautiful. Amazingly simple, but a very big step for me.
I can say only this: choosing the next step is going to be fun! Oh, and this: CLASS OF 90 RULZ!!! 🙂
Here is a new poem I wrote Saturday morning after the football game experience. It’s how I’ve been feeling about this whole weekend.
Seeing Classmates After 20 Years
Staring in the mirror-
search deep in the reflection
in front of me.
Trying to understand myself,
wondering if I see what the others see.
Am I beautiful or ugly?
Am I brave or courageous or strong?
Do I inspire? Do I uplift?
Am I getting it all right or getting it wrong?
Searching myself and questioning,
Where is this journey taking me?
Do others see the work I’m putting in
to get to a place where I’m not faking me?
I look in the mirror again,
for the first time resist the urge to criticize.
I see beauty and strength and amazingness,
and self-approval shining in my eyes.
DB- 9-18-10 — 10:13 a.m.
Until next time,