This year marks 25 years since I completed High School back in 1985. Besides the reality that so much time has passed it has also been both a sobering assessment of what I have done with my life post High School and it has also given me an opportunity to reflect on a time in my life that until this year had seemed so distant and inert.
At the beginning of this year everyone started to “ Find ” each other again through sites such as Facebook and Friends United, add that to the contacts that had been kept over the last 25 years and we have managed to find approx 75% of the Class of 85 so far.
There is now a Reunion Team and plans are well under way for a “ 80’s Reunion Party ” scheduled for November at a Bar which is close to our old school “ Cleveland District State High School ”.
I was really pumped when all of this started rolling towards the end of last year and I was really keen for the few smaller catch up’s that we have organised and attended this year but as the time gets closer to the main reunion I find myself more and more remembering how I never really fitted in with these people and once again neurotic insecurities that defined me 25 years ago are as sharp and painful as they were when I was in my late teens.
I was never a confident person and tended to stick with a small group of friends that to a large degree marched to their own drums. We weren’t a group of trend setters or even remotely part of the “ In ” crowd. We tended to leave everyone else alone and we just did our thing.
I must admit that I never fully appreciated just how much I had alienated myself from the rest of the school until all these names started to pop up in the reunion list and I realised that did not know and have no memory of nearly everyone except the close 12 or so people I called friends.
It has also been both amazing and embarrassing ( at times ) to hear what these people have done with their lives over the last 25 years and to then compare my effort to their achievements. I went to a very large school and I acknowledge that not everyone achieved great heights but many of the class went on to own and run their own businesses, many have University Degrees and many have travelled the world. We have Principle Dancers for the Australian Ballet who danced for Princess Diana and the Royals, We have movie script writers, we have highly respected national reporters and heads of government Arts initiatives, we have professional business people and service providers all around the world, we have numerous 25 year career Military and Emergency Services people, we have Olympians and we have published authors.
In short, we have many people who have gone on to live their dreams.
It has struck me with forced clarity that while we may shield and screen who we are to the rest of the world, in the end we fundamentally are the same core person from birth to grave !
So many of the Class of 85 are today the same personality that they were 25 years ago and when we all get back together it’s like an old jigsaw that has been gathering dust for 25 years but all the pieces go straight back into the same old position that they fitted into 25 years ago.
The In Crowd are still confident and outspoken, the Tech Heads are still talking a language that the rest of us will never understand, The Jocks are still turning all the heads and the Arts people are still flitting around and making light of all of life.
And I'm still wanting to sit in the corner and watch them all as I don’t fit in with any of them !
I am trying very hard not to pull back and not to turn and run from this reunion as I never attended my graduation formal or party due to my insecurities. I often regret that very much and have often thought over the years how I would love to have gone back and handled everything differently, yet here I am with a partial opportunity to do just that and I am instinctively reverting to all my old defences.