Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ten Year Reunion

It has now been, officially but not to the exact day, ten years since I graduated high school.

This is pretty weird for me. I'm not an old person. I'm basically a baby. But when I was in high school, people who were ten years older than me were old people. Like, elderly, antique, crotchety, go-to-bed-at-six-thirty-type old. It can't be! It's not logical! It's bad math!

Somehow, though, it's been ten years and I'm young still. Maybe it's just good ol' magic.

I don't think there'll be a reunion. I mean, that most likely would've been sorted out by now. And anyway, Facebook has kind of ruined the allure of the ten year reunion, hasn't it? I know where most of my classmates are and what they're doing and what they look like now. It's not like those cheesy nineties movies where the goal is to go back and impress all your former classmates with how much you've changed and accomplished but also how young and fun you still are. You can do all of that on Facebook, and it's much more effective anyway because it's way easier to be impressive in a little square picture on the internet than in awkward conversation over a punch bowl in a florescent-lit gymnasium.

In any case, the realization and recognition of the tenth anniversary of my escape from the pit of drudgery and awfully awful awfulness that was "high school" has produced in me a sort of non-nostalgia that is neither fond nor wistful. A feeling of extreme thankfulness not to be "young again".

People used to tell me, "You're going to look back on this as the best time of your life." I wish I could go back to that time of my life just to tell them (and myself) that they were wrong, thank goodness. And then I'd zip back to the future so fast that they'd get time-travel gravel all up in their eyes. And I'd just laugh.

Anyway. Anyway, anyway, anyway.

I meant to say that this non-nostalgia did prompt me to pull out the old high school yearbook, which has actually been doubling as a shelf in my office and hasn't been flipped through in a very long time. So I, you know, flipped through it. That picture up top is my whole, huge grad class, minus somebody. Because there are sixteen kids in that picture and seventeen in my grad class. I'll have to scroll up and figure out who it is...

Who the heck...?

Oh right. No. I know. One guy left for a while to play hockey, but came back for grad. So he didn't get to be in the official Class Picture, which ended up in the back cover of that year's yearbook. He really missed out.

I was, obviously, really excited about that picture. Can you find me? Second row, messy hair. The guy behind me in the toque, Micah, was one of my besties all through my school years. Doesn't he just look like such an absolute peach? The two guys hiding in the centre back were both named Matt. The guy making the peace signs used to bring his cat, Kiki, to math class under his shirt and make mazes for it out of text books so that it could walk around without being seen. The math teacher always thought he was making the cat up because he never saw it and would yell at him for meowing in class. (I feel like I've told you all this before. Stop me if I have.)

I'm not in any of the sports pages in the yearbook.

Actually, no. That's not completely true. I'm in three of the four pictures on the Sr. Badminton page, which is more than any of the people who actually played badminton. Because, for some reason, I was standing behind the badminton teams while they were getting their pictures taken for the Sr. Badminton page. Maybe, subconsciously, appearing somewhere in the sports section was really important to me? Too bad if it's true, because sports + me = 0.

Then there's this gem, from my actual grad day. I really love the fact that they put Cody way out front so it looks like Matt is sitting on his shoulder. I also love how happy Micah and I look to be graduating, how we're the only ones not smiling even though we were probably more excited than anyone else in this picture to be done high school. I wonder where he is now. He's one of the ones I've lost track of. It's weird how that goes, isn't it?

I should've worn a white dress. The girls who wore white look like angels in this picture. My dress was blue.

Things I remember from this day: 

1. there were a lot of mosquitos
2. I didn't have any shoes to wear with my dress so I didn't wear shoes at all
3. our grad song was Swing Life Away by Rise Against and our 'inspirational grad quote' was, ahem: "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (I hope you pictured me saying that in a very breathy, airy, inspirational voice with my eyes half closed while stroking my chin.)
4. lots of other things. (Vague-blogging is very en vogue these days.Vogue vague. It just wasn't the best day of my life, and I remember that about it the most and I always say to people how much I hated that day, so I almost feel like I shouldn't not write it too. You know, in the interest of being honest but not baring my soul to the whole internet. And it's not as though you have to say why a day sucked every time you say that a day sucked, do you? Is this awkward? I feel like this is awkward.) 

Other notable appearances in the yearbook include me in a locker with a caption about skipping class, me holding my friend's foot in the air for no good reason I can see, and me giving a different friend bunny ears. These are, apparently, things I did when I was seventeen.

It really is funny. A few weeks ago I was home and my mom mentioned something that had happened in high school that had really upset me then. I didn't remember that particular incident until she said it, and even then I kind of remembered it the way you remember something that happened in a movie or a dream. To someone else.

Ten years is a lot of distance. I'm glad for that. I like that I'm forgetting things. I'm okay to remember high school in a kind of abstract way, a funny story about this person and a weird quirk that that person had. A trip we took to another town, a night spent stargazing on the roof of my car, the play I was in. Me in a locker and holding a foot and giving bunny ears and not playing badminton and the Pink Floyd lyrics scrawled in the back of my yearbook by the guy who sat behind me on the school bus.

"Shine on, you crazy diamond."