Revisiting a place from childhood with the mind of an experienced adult

weeping willow
A healthy weeping willow standing tall on a green

I woke up at about 5 am this morning feeling very well. Unlike usual Saturdays, I prepared breakfast early at 6:30 am. Luckily my hubby didn’t mind. Then after a bit of cuddling, I took a long and thorough shower and did lots of other beauty-related self care in preparation for my 30th high school reunion today. Whoa! How time flies!The new dress that I wore today is very pretty and spring-like. It’s mainly blue with colorful flowers and a lovely cut. I also wore a pretty pinkish color cardigan, since the dress is sleeveless. That was good to have, since it was raining for much of the morning. I got there at about 10 am, after a 50 min drive. To my joy, one of my better old high school friends showed up soon after. I spent most of the event with him, at times almost clinging to him for comfort. He is one of the few high school friends I have kept in touch with over the years. He knows my full story.

The school is amazing! It’s a private school in a bucolic area. They have made wonderful upgrades to the buildings and even built a number of new ones. It’s a boarding school, though I was always a day student since I lived nearby. Two identical twin girl students, Zayda and Jayda, gave me a private tour. They were charming! I asked them lots of questions, shared about the differences between now and when I attended, and told some funny stories. They both had lovely smiles on their faces, which showed big gaps between their front teeth. Having a gap between my front teeth, too, I gleefully announced “We’re three gap-toothed girls!” They laughed. What was also cool was that when we entered a particular lounge, the school had a TV on with a slide show of old photos. One of the teachers I told them about popped up, so I exclaimed “There’s Uncle Brucie!” They looked, and then…Can you believe that MY picture then popped up?! I was like “OMG! That’s me!” How funny and coincidental! The girls liked that. I was only 17 years old in that picture.

Among many other alumni, there were about six people from my particular class there, but apparently a total of 10 had already participated in the weekend events. My class size was only 25, so that’s sort of a lot. The night before, the school had arranged a silent auction/dance and dinner party at a local fancy establishment in my childhood hometown. I would have liked the dancing, but I was not willing to pay the required $100 and be around a lot of people drinking. I can’t drink much at all anymore. Plus, I would definitely not want to drive home late at night after such a shindig. Tonight there is supposed to be a cocktail party at another lovely place. The alumni director was urging me to go, but again, it’s too late and too much drinking, and would have been too long of a day for me. I had seen everyone and everything I needed between 10 and 3 o’clock.

I was happy I saw at least one of my teachers from the past. I wondered if she would remember me. She did. She was sweet, and her eyes lit up when she saw me. She said “You look exactly the same as I remember!” I thanked her. I sort of did look about the youngest of us all from my class. I am chunkier nowadays, but luckily my dress made me look thinner than I am. Obviously, I do have to dye my hair, but I don’t have any wrinkles. Well…except one I hide strategically with my bangs. She told me what she was up to. She said she has written over 30 children’s books, and some plays. Yes, she was an English teacher. I told her that I was in two of her classes, but remember dropping out of her Creative Writing class. I told her that when I started the class and attempted the first assignment, I was at a total loss for what to write, and panicked. I was such a perfectionist back then, with extremely high expectations for myself. Creative writing had not been my forte. I was a dancer, and expressed myself creatively that way. But I announced that after 25 years, I found my creative voice. That on my blog, I have written numerous prose poems, several stories, and creative reflections. Here, I have described the dance and music that I now make with my fingers racing on my keyboard.

I doubt that I will ever go to another high school reunion. Three years from now, my husband and I may move much further away. I had never been to a reunion before today. It was a lovely journey through the past, and helped me understand better where I am now. My only sad moment was when I discovered my favorite tree on campus, a weeping willow, standing but almost dead. That picture of me that popped up on the TV, while with the twin gap-toothed girls, was of me sitting below that tree. It’s indeed the end of an older era, but the beginning of a new one.

I wrote a two-part post, almost two years ago, describing my time at the private school mentioned above, and what led me there. It was a significant time in my young life. I experienced the first signs of my bipolar disorder during that period. I had a partial recovery, and found the jumping off point for my first adult years. Those post can be found at https://birdflight.blog/2017/06/06/childhood-interrupted-part-1/

3 thoughts on “Revisiting a place from childhood with the mind of an experienced adult

  1. lifelessons May 5, 2019 / 2:50 am

    I guess part of the secret of class reunions is knowing when to stop going. We have reunions every five years for the whole school since our town was very small. It is fun this way because it turns into more of a town reunion than a class reunion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • updownflight May 5, 2019 / 11:37 am

      Your school’s arrangement sounds reasonable. Is it a public school? I guess in my school’s case, yearly reunions work best because as a private school, they are hoping to use them as a reminder to contribute money. Though they do get plenty from tuition, they still need more.

      Like

      • lifelessons May 5, 2019 / 1:14 pm

        No, a public school. The town population was only 700. Now down to 500. My school was torn down when a consolidated County school was built, and even as a county-wide school, the number of students has dropped.

        Liked by 1 person

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