There were more than a few butterflies fluttering inside my stomach as I headed for my 30th high school class reunion. Luckily I had a ten hour drive to get comfortable with the idea. The truth is, I was bursting with excitement. I feel bad for people who didn’t have a good high school experience; I did. Of course it came with all the angst and confusion of the age. It’s called growing pains for good reason. But time has a way of putting things that don’t really matter so high on a shelf, it takes effort to reach them.
I am so grateful I grew up when I did and where I did. It was MTV, Family Ties and Pac-Man. It was Big Gulps, big hair and big dreams in a small town. We had Grandpa in the White House, a woman in space and it rained purple. We made crank calls, sent girls mix tapes and toilet papered houses. Texting consisted of throwing stones at our friend’s window. We rushed home to watch Michael Jackson’s latest video premier and we spent far too many quarters at the arcade.
I knew the evening would come with more than a touch of nostalgia, but I didn’t expect I’d be wrapped in it like a warm blanket. Life is an extraordinary ride — a journey both breathtaking in its bliss and sorrowful in its struggles. This night felt like a pause button. Surrounded by the familiar faces of youth, it felt good. It felt like home.
For some, the past is not a friend. Not everyone smiles when yesterday reappears. But I’m smiling today. Smiling at a remarkable rewind.
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