Reliving

Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook know that Amy and I went to my 20-year high school reunion this past weekend in Kingsport.  I was a bit anxious about the whole thing and oh-so-gently poked fun at myself for being nervous by asking my Facebook friends questions like “Should I wear my Members-only jacket or my band-geek letterman’s jacket?” and “Why am I nervous about going to my reunion?”  The answers were often hilarious, but I could see an hour on a therapist’s couch looming in my future as the reunion approached.

The reunion went fine, of course.  We had a great time catching up with old friends and making new ones.  Amy was stunning in what she calls her “trophy-wife hot red dress” and as charming as ever (I’ll never fully realize how lucky I was the day she said “I do,” but I’m getting closer).  What was really fun was all the conversations with old classmates with whom I had never spoken before Saturday night.  Really.  3 years in high school with some people and for whatever reason we never said “boo” to each other until the 20-year reunion.  And when we actually did talk, it was fun, friendly, and easy.

 It is so good to be an adult.

What caught me off guard, though, was a question on the survey they had me fill out when we arrived.  It had the questions you’d expect:  where do you live now, how long have you been married, how many kids, how far did you travel to get here, what’s your favorite memory from high school, etc.  But the question that made me stop and think and hasn’t let me go yet was this one:

If you could relive any moment from high school, what would it be?

That word “relive” just messed me up.  If the word had been “re-do,” I’d have a list as long as my arm.  You know that list–it’s the one with all the regrets.  All the decisions I’d make differently if I had the chance.  Who I’d ask to the Senior Prom.  How I’d spend my time after school.  With whom I’d sit on the band bus on the way to the Jefferson County game.  How bold I’d be in choosing friends, in choosing classes, and in defending the weak.

But the word was just that–“relive.”  Not “fix” or “edit.”  Just “relive.”  What moment would I re-experience exactly as it was without any alteration?  What moment was so good and pure and sweet that it’d be worth the time and energy to incarnate into that experience again?

Don’t get me wrong–I have tons of moments since high school that I love to play and rewind over and over again:  winning my assistantship at UT for my master’s degree in choral conducting, Amy’s appearance in the doorway right before walking the aisle to me on our wedding day, the births of my children,  etc.  But there aren’t any high school moments that come to mind.

In fact, the default memories that do come to mind when I take the time to remember high school are all of moments I’d re-do, not re-live.  Which, when you think about it, explains a lot about why the thought of going to my reunion caused me some anxiety.  How could it not?

I ended up leaving that one blank just so I could get on with the reunion and being seen with my trophy-wife in the hot red dress, but I suspect now that there are high school moments in my past worth remembering as is, if I would 1) take some time and 2) let go of the negative ones that exert such influence on my memory. 

And that doing so would go a long way toward keeping me off some therapist’s couch….

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