Now that my bags are unpacked and I’ve resettled into the routine back here in England, I’m finally able to weigh in on this past weekend’s “48 hours in Vancouver, Canada” reunion experience.
I once read a quote that said something to the effect of “Keep your friends from childhood because they knew you when you were young.” And I never really understood that quote until this past weekend being amongst my former peers.
I’m all about connection and I was apprehensive, anxious even about having to engage in small talk and what I imagined would be something akin to speed-dating former classmates. The thing is, getting back together with people who knew me when I was just a kid is more than mere connection. It’s about reconnection. And I was surprised at how much it meant to me to reconnect with others who knew me before I was married, before I had kids. I didn’t realise how much I would appreciate being remembered for the “me” when my identity was truly my own– without the parameters of my life today: what I do, whom I’m married to, where I live, how I live.
I was once at a talk where the speaker described familiar faces as “mirrors”. There’s something to be said about looking at a former classmate and seeing a reflection of yourself mirrored back to you. And whether or not we spoke in depth or at length, I was grateful for the smiles throughout the night and the mirrors that said without words, “I remember you and it’s nice to see you again.”
I also loved that because we knew each other young, we didn’t have to fill in the blanks of our histories to understand who we are today. We know the neighbourhoods we grew up in, the sports or activities we did and the friendship groups we belonged to. We remember each other for being smart or funny or athletic, etc. We all have a collective point of reference from which to draw upon today and a genuine curiosity about the delta in between.
So…there was a mutual interest in each other’s personal evolution. We look back into our collective pasts, beyond the friendship groups and piece together memories that help us reconnect today. As a result, many of us have “re-friended” each other even if we didn’t hang out back then.
The coolest part of the night was at 1am when we all rushed the dance floor to the last song, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. One of the official definitions of rhapsody is: “An ecstatic expression of feeling or enthusiasm”. So how poetic that we all formed a circle – linking arms, singing hoarsely at the top of our lungs and celebrating old, new and renewed friendships.
A few people have aptly called the evening and our grad class “magical.”
My take away from our 30th?
SDSS Grad 88: We. Are. Rhapsody.