Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

Wow….Wow. Wow.

There are a lot of clichés about what high school reunions are like — a sick glory in revisiting painful teenage dynamics with people whose faces you may remember, names you no longer do, while awkwardly catching up in pithy sentences about what each of you have been up to for the past 10 years.

“Me? Oh, you know… school, job, travel… just living the dream.”

Or perhaps trying to prove you have ‘made something’ of yourself, are not that same insecure glasses-wearing, braces-toting drama nerd you used to be (certainly not), and are in fact definitely NOT some eccentric writer living at home with her parents who recounts stories of her life on her mediocre blog… definitely not that.

The 10 year reunion for Petaluma High School unfurls tonight. I’m anticipating those clichés to (mostly) not apply. I had planned not to go. (Mainly because I’m cheap.) And I also didn’t know how many times I could say “Me? Oh, you know… just living the dream.”

However, there was a little ‘pre-game’ get together at a local pub last night, and I went. I played the DD and I must say — it was an amazingly satisfying experience. To realize people change. To realize people don’t. To realize you don’t care whether they, or you, have/n’t at all.

To realize it’s all, magically, wonderfully, irrelevant. Why? Because in those 10 years, you realize you’ve been up to becoming you, to discarding you, and then settling somewhere nicely in the middle.

And you also realize you don’t need to write coyly self-deprecating blog entries anymore, or worry about some permanent popularity (or people-pleasing) poll, or wonder if it’s okay that you had kids, or didn’t have kids, or got married, or are single, or are making bank, or are unemployed; are going bald, collecting wrinkles & pounds, or still look like you’re 22 — because you realize that Life ushers and sifts, sorts like stones each individual temperament, until one comes to rest upon a satisfying shore.

We are (if lucky) whittled away like wood until we are only the essential bones of ourselves, or (if luckier) whittled down to shavings, air — to be empty and receiving, just grateful to be an anyone. And in another 10 years it’ll all (all-everything) matter less, and another 10 after that — even less — until 10 x 10 years from now, it will matter nothing at all.

§589 · July 25, 2009 · Sonoma County Splendor · · [Print]

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