I didn’t go to the big soiree that reunited students from the first three classes of my high school’s history. From a practical perspective, accommodations and travel expenses, plus the time expenditure to make the 2340-mile round-trip, would have been disproportionate to the actual event. However, it really wasn't practicality that deterred me. It was reluctance to reacquaint myself with the long-forgotten teen-aged me.
I likely wouldn’t have known about the reunion if I didn’t keep in touch with a dear friend from those years, who also happened to be part of the organizing committee. She had been active in choir, chorale, pep club, sports clubs, and student government; for her the event would be (and was) an exhilarating dance down a brightly lit memory lane full of long-ago friends. For me, however, the idea of mentally stepping back into that time kindled sparks of anxiety, as if the ghost of my teen-aged self was somehow a threat to the person I am now.
Such thinking is silly, of course. Who lives fifty-some odd years without experiencing the contrasts of highs and lows, successes and failures, joys and heartaches? I’m sure most of my former classmates – like me – have outgrown their teenage personas and found contentment in the lives they’re currently living. Ironically, the smiling faces in the Facebook party pictures could be people I see daily – in church, at work, in my social circles. They look like people I would enjoy chatting with.
So, if the opportunity presented itself again, and finances and distance were not challenges, would I go to a high school reunion? I don’t know. But I do know the ghost of my teen-years-past will not factor into the decision.