I had the glorious opportunity to go back to a place from my distant past recently. It was an amazing reunion in a gorgeous little ski town in the heart of the Rockies. I saw people I hadn’t seen in 25 years and to say we picked right up where we left off many years prior is an understatement. I have never gone to any of my high school reunions because while I had a great time in high school, the thought of going back 10, 15, 20 or even 25 years after the fact only to embark upon a weekend-long game of: ‘…how great for you that you are the president of your company… wow, can’t believe you won the lottery… that was your child who invented the cure for the common cold… how DO you stay so young looking… hmmm, you’ve done quite well for yourself… what’s that… you’re on your fourth marriage…’ and it goes on from there.
This reunion, however, wasn’t about how utterly fantastic one person had outranked the next. Rather, it was a time for friends I met after high school–a gaggle of eclectic sorts who had ventured out into the world as young adults on a mission to ‘find themselves’ and it just so happened we all landed in this one particular ski town in the heart of the Rockies. Back then, unless there was a trust fund in place, we barely had more than a pot to–but it didn’t matter. We’d found our place in time. We drank hard and played even harder. We fought and made up and fought some more, but all the while, we built amazing character and even though we didn’t realize it at the time, we gained a whole lot of wisdom during the journey.
Since that time, we’ve scattered to the four corners of the country and beyond in some cases. When we reconnected, we didn’t compare notes on who was better than who; but did seize those nuggets of opportunity to brag about the fullness of life’s experiences we’d had from then to now. There wasn’t a whole lot of ‘I’ and ‘me’, but definitely an ample supply of ‘we’. There’s an old saying: ‘…you can never go back home again…’, but the part that is never tacked onto it is, ‘…but if you do, take who you are now and keep paying it forward…’
So I’m gonna remember this and maybe I can share some of that wisdom if I ever decide to go to one of my high school reunions…