Getting Ready for Reunion

WP HS 40 yrs

August 8 is rapidly approaching.

My 40th High School Reunion.

How can it be that?

Did I blink?

Did I slip into some kind of Brigadoon?

Am I really staring at turning 60 in two short years?

So many questions. So little time.

Some days I feel like I’ve lived five different lives, and then it’s like I haven’t lived at all.

One of the ways I sort through thoughts and feelings is to put the words out in front of me. I do my best thinking out loud.

Today’s Reunion Thought: Angst Revisited

WP HS no more angst

Definition: noun
1. a feeling of dread, anxiety, or anguish.

I will never forget walking up the sidewalk by what was then the practice field. It was wide and long…very long, and I was having trouble breathing.

I was sure I would never forgive my father for uprooting me from the place where I felt like I was finally starting to connect.

I didn’t know anyone here. I was sure no one would ever want to know me.

Mustn’t cry. But I wanted to cry and to run. Life was over. I was sure of it.

WP HS crowded halls

And so began the awkward angst-filled dance called High School. All the struggles with wanting to fit in, wanting to be liked and loved. The only moments when I didn’t feel alone were the moments when I happened to sit with a girlfriend in the bathroom weeping over the latest break-up. “What’s wrong with us?” we would cry.

Oh the battles with the monster “Enough.” Never smart enough. Never thin enough. Never enough.

WP HS coffee

It wasn’t until many years later when I got together with two friends from the ‘Burg and listened to them that I realized how un-unique my feelings were.

I’ve been doing some online reading about the experiences of others as they struggled with the whole reunion battle. Should I go? Why bother?

It seems the older we get the greater the need to look back. Who would have thought that what lies ahead would hold scarier moments than first loves won and lost, first jobs, and first wings of freedom.

Someone likened going to a reunion to getting a ‘do over.’ I can live with that. I’ve been living my do over for several years. And some of that process and growth has actually been helped by unexpected connections I’ve made on Facebook.

Here’s what I’ve decided: Life has been good. I have had my share of challenges, and enough disappointments, failures, and shame for three people–not that I was trying to hoard it. But my focus here on out is where it needs to be. I’m counting my blessings and thanking my God, especially that my dad yanked me away from where I was comfortable and planted me somewhere I could flourish.

So to the class of 1975, let’s enjoy this occasion.

WP HS 40 acronymn

Spiders…Blech!

I don’t like spiders. I want to say I hate them, but tend to hold that emotion in strict reserve. Let’s just say I really dislike them immensely (and I am leaving that double adverb pattern in intentionally for emphasis). About the only spider I ever cared about was Charlotte, of the beloved children’s story, Charlotte’s Web. And that barely counts since she’s not real.

I believe that God could have easily used a spider to tempt Eve in the garden. They’re just that evil. Think about the sayings we associate with wicked creatures: “Oh what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive”; or “Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.” Even the prophet Isaiah understood this evil-natured beast when he described evil people who wove webs of deception to trap unsuspecting innocents (see Isaiah 59:5).

Several years ago my husband was watching a special about spiders on PBS or Animal Planet, and he learned that we are never more than three feet from a spider at any time. He was so intrigued by this tidbit that he told me immediately and has reminded me regularly ever since.

Upon learning about my ever-present nemesis, I began to make it clear that as long as I was not able to see the eight-legged imp, I was willing to co-exist. Foolishly, a bold furry wood variety attempted to challenge my conditions one morning at work. He actually charged at me. Consequently, he was very quickly judging the value of a well-placed book by its cover.

I am not sure if my dislike or my panic is reasonable…I’m not sure if I care.

Recently a new dimension to my loathing has bubbled up. I have never liked walking into a web. It’s creepy, and I’m never quite sure if the object of my disdain has hitched a ride. Once I finish untangling myself from the practically invisible strands of microscopic super glue, I then have do a full body search for free loaders. This process is typically accompanied by a dance that embarrasses my children and brings others to tears from laughter.

I, however, am not amused.

Now when I write one of these pieces it is usually because I have worked through the issue at hand. I have had an epiphany and delight in sharing. That is not the case here. I have just walked into too many webs and danced too many dances lately. And don’t ask my husband about how he had to rescue me from the monster arachnid that I found hiding in my lunch box…it was HUGE!

But I have no resolution. They aren’t going anywhere, and I truly doubt they care about my feelings. That hurts a bit, but I think I might be able to get past it.

Perhaps it’s true, misery loves company. My frustration will resonate with someone who reads this. I like knowing I’m not alone. The other thing I know is that someone else will laugh at my childish behavior. Now while I’m not overly thrilled about being laughed at (not thrilled, but very used to it), I do like knowing that I brightened someone’s day. The way I look at it, if laughter is good medicine, being around me is good for your health.

So in case your husband missed the special and has failed to remind you: remember, there is a web-producing, eight-legged, super glue spitting beastie lurking just beyond the length of your arm.

Have a nice day.