It’s been 45 years since education authorities in my high school decided I was no longer fit to learn. Sorry, I can’t celebrate.
The 45th anniversary of my graduation from high school will be this year but I won’t celebrate.
It isn’t because I don’t like celebrations or have bad memories of high school. Alright, that’s part of it.
It isn’t because I don’t want to see how much (or how little) fellow classmates have aged, though there may be some vindication in a comparison. But old is old, regardless of the varying degrees of wrinkles and hair color.
For whatever the reasons, I don’t feel the 45 plus years since high school. I have more pain, less hair, probably more skin. But I’m still me, still a child (or, a teenager) at heart, and still looking forward to tomorrow.
Over the past 45 years or so I’ve done what all of us probably do– remember. Through the years memories are repeated over and over, sharp edges are sanded down, pleasurable memories receive extra polish.
That ongoing exercise diminishes the pains and discomforts of youth, enhances the magical moments we cherish.
I enjoy telling people that I finished in the Top 70 of my high school graduating class. I was #70 out of 72. High schools in big cities, such as Honolulu, have graduating classes of 600 to 700 students. The comparison puts me in the top 10-percent.
Lies, damn lies, statistics.
I fared better in college and was graduated magna cum laude. Yes, there were more than 72 students in my college graduating class.
Where have the years gone? What has everyone done with their lives? Does it matter or is it merely a curiosity?
I’m curious, but it doesn’t matter.
Where is Jimmy Smith, my best friend and confidant in high school? We parted and saw each other only two or three times in the following decades.
Where is Carol Davidson, the first love in high school, a love later in adulthood?
Gone is Ellen Morrow, our high school math teacher (we had only one), so patient and indulgent of my learning disorder with equations (I can’t remember strings of mixed letters and numbers– even phone numbers).
As adults, we may want to relive those magical moments. I understand both the temptation and the futility.
I simply prefer to create new magic in the next moment.