“We don’t see things as they are … we see things as WE are.” Anais Nin


I wasn’t nervous … more excited (which in itself felt very odd) … it had been 21 years since leaving high school and our school was celebrating its 40th Anniversary by inviting their past (and present) pupils to celebrate this milestone.
As I cloaked myself in my current red & black wardrobe (what on earth is that about) and added the final finishing touches of fairy dust (make-up), I was REALLY looking forward to the evening!  As I fell silent (probably concentrating on eyeliner), I couldn’t help but compare 11 years previously, when our Matric year (1990) had their 10 year reunion … I was petrified, I felt ill and I think, at one point, I started hyperventilating but more importantly, I had this horrible defensive need (as did everyone else) to convince these people I had shared 5 influential years of my life with, that in spite of all they thought they knew about me … I had indeed achieved and was happy.  If I look back now at our reunion of 2000 it was an EPIC FAILwell it was for me!
I clearly remember having a conversation with our Principal, a gentle kindly man, about how we had just had our first child (literally she was about 2 months old), I proudly flaunted my left hand, reminding that I had married this wonderful man to my right and I had prepared my oral for the class of our overseas travels and my work history.  Yip, I was prepared, I was ready and I was nauseous. It was ABSOLUTE HELL, as people’s faces betrayed their thoughts about how much weight I had gained since high school and how disappointed they all were in my career choice.  The bitchy tones in the voices of girls I had not really liked, even in school, but we all had that forced smile of endurance fixed to our cheeks.  And I wasn’t alone, we had all prepared, we all made sure that everyone else knew how much we had achieved in our 10 short years since school and that we had all done so well for ourselves.  I clearly remember coming away from that event thinking NEVER AGAIN!
And here I was … 11 years on, heading into another night of it … but it felt so different!  Thanks to the magical world of technology, quite a few of us had hooked up through Facebook and we were regular posters.  But it wasn’t that … maybe it was the fact that I had one of my closest friends (indeed from school) with me for the night, close by my side, facing this evening together, a little slip of armour.  It could have been that, but it was more.  So keen I was (oh apologies for the Yoda quote) I got there very early, but as I walked into the School Hall the same thing that always hits me – hit me!  This Hall is SO SMALL compared to what I remember! J But eventually our year (who had agreed prior to meet up and enjoy the evening together) started trickling in and we hugged and kissed each other like warm family that hadn’t seen each other in so long.  There was no bitchiness (well maybe with those 2 girls that didn’t speak to me for the 5 years we were together every day), BUT there was no, Oh I live in Timbucktoo … Oh I live in Halabaloo.  There was no, my job and your job and my kids and your kids and my kids go to and where do your kids go to?  NO!  We just tore down the BS and genuinely wanted to know every little fabulous detail about how we were doing, and it was real and genuine.  And we danced and we danced and we danced, as we smiled understandingly at each other, knowing that the DJ had NEVER heard the music he had obviously been asked to play because he was about 7 years old.  But we loved it and we dance and we danced a bit more and we laughed and we connected.  And it was wonderful!  Like finding a long lost friend lived just around the corner! J
So what have I learned … This one taught me so much … I’ve learned that time (and hopefully a bit of wisdom) and perspective, are beautiful things.  Much like this photo above, sometimes we get the big picture and sometimes we focus on the detail, because all the competition of high school had melted away and we were just enjoying each other’s company for the fabulous people that we are today AND IT WAS WONDERFUL.  I was reminded yet again, that I am enough, just as I am!  AND I was also reminded that you can take on the world when you have your buddy in your corner …
Love you all madly …          
Warm regards … Collette in Cape Town        
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Beautiful photo featured by Sanet le Roux

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