Time gap

I got an invitation to go to my high school 20y reunion.


Oh gosh, that's true, it's no mistake. What a shocker.

And so I drove on Friday evening, through the horrendous Brussels traffic jams, towards my old home town where I have, despite the visits to my parents, truly lost all touch with local life.  I squeezed the car in a last little spot on the playground of the boy's school where the event was hosted and I noticed that with every visit that playground seems to be shrinking   ...the big huge school that I remembered from the time my dad was teaching there, was really no ordinary size anymore and had returned to normal proportions.

A bit hesitating I searched my way to the hall where the crowd had already gathered. After all, as a girl, I was an alien in this school that now hosts the cities high school for both girls & boys but that merger had taken place just after our graduation.   For that reason all girls, who went to school just on the other side of the river more than 20 years ago, were condemned to return to our "own reunions" as aliens on foreign territory.

Thanks to the Brussel's traffic I was late and had to squeeze through circles of conversations, peeking around, trying to find the familiar faces that would mark "my circle" to join.  Younger & mixed circles showed those who had graduated 5/ 10 or 15 years ago while I now belonged to the older crowd...those "old" grown-up people that I had stared at at the first ever reunion.  
The first reunion, we were all at the edge of studying and working, feeling ourselves still students really. Also the years after, we were still young adults with our future full of options wide open to us and so many life choices still to make  in wide contrast to those settled housewife/professionals a bit further in the corner.

Now that indeed, a lot of my/our big life choices have been made in those 20 years and we do look like "moms" and "professional grown-ups" rather than "nonchalant ex-students" ...we have not changed a single bit! (thank goodness by the way that all those choices have been made and how reassuring that we've all found our little spot & destiny in life by now!).   Despite clearly being older, a bit fatter, some with some first wrinkles or grey hairs, a more grown-up clothing style... it is amazing how we are still exactly the same as 20 years ago!  Seriously. The same looks to be honest, the same way of talking, the same way of interacting, the same people grouping together, ... Very funny to see.  So different and yet so similar.

The same counted for some of the teachers that were running around, serving cheese platters and drinks to us but who could just like that tell us to lign up and go in class and take our notebook as well.   Gosh, if we had been away 20 yrs , how long had they been around.   Some would in a few years start teaching some of our children already , so I heard in the conversations.

Anyway, it was fun to see everyone again. Our year had a good turnout with more than 30 students from our year that I believe counted approx 90 graduates then. On the other hand, it's usually the same usual suspects that show up , that also have a presence (silent & quiet or active) on social media , while others seem to have chosen to disappear from the world and stay out of touch.

Anyway...up to the next and last school reunion in 5 years, when we will be the really really old ones at the event ;). I'll definitely try to go again as I do enjoy these moments of flash-back.


Brian Miller said…
heh. this is my 20 year college reunion this year....i have thought about going...would be interesting to see how much people have changed...

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