By: Revanche

High school reunions and ruminations

May 26, 2010

Watching MythBusters, I wondered if any or all of the hosts are actually as mechanically, engineerically or otherwise functionally ingenious enough to independently conceive, develop and execute their experiments that they demonstrate for the benefit of the masses. Like Zach and Hodgens from Bones, y’know?

Naturally, that led to wondering if mutual friends who are engineers or mechanical genii (genius, plural) would view this show with rather more skepticism than I, and then, of course, I start wondering what I’ve done with my life since high school.

That path of inquiry has been grooved deeply into my musings, though rather subsumed by the more immediate and urgent call of living life, as I approach a milestone graduation anniversary.

As it happens, I’m not attending this event because….
A) they’re charging more than $100 for admission per ticket (plus flight),
B) I already keep in touch with 90% of the friends I wanted to stay in touch with,
C) In addition to running into 30% of the people I’d be quite happier never seeing again,
D) With no doubt that the 10% I DO want to see won’t actually be there.

Despite my resolution to save both time and money, the event itself continues to engenders these musings.

It’s a perplexing sense of insecurity, or a close cousin thereof, that leads me to question why I’ve not yet become an expert martial artist, developed a craft, attained mastery of some incredibly useful survivalist training in the event of near-complete global disaster. (And yet, I’ve had no interest in that show, Survivor.) Or at least completed graduate education. 

Now, I’ve been kicking about the PF blogosphere for years, bouncing around among some major achievers whose blogs have grown exponentially, admiring personalities glowing through the internets garnering praise, media attention, and financial success both related and not to their blogs.  From time to time, I turn over the same mental stones about the path to blogger success that Funny about Money articulates in her A PF Blogger’s Glass Ceiling?  That doesn’t make me feel smaller than I am, nor do I feel compelled to compare myself to bigger and better blogs to my detriment.

Why then does the memory of high school and the person I thought I’d be by now (delusional teenager that I was) make me step back and wonder: What have I done with myself?

I think it’s something to do with the habit of competing against myself.  Perhaps there’s also a touch of competing with others but at the end of the day, when you’re laboring to achieve as much as you once dreamed, you’ve set up a tough crowd to impress.

My voice of reason finally pipes up with admonishments that competing with anyone, including yourself, for the sake of winning at life is sheer foolishness.  Living life well and happily is all one needs.

It’s just disconcerting that that memory of high school can so viscerally project itself over the panarama of my real life.

Wise Words

The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
Stacking Pennies

“…it’s just that the things I’ve accomplished haven’t really been plans, just things I fell into.”
Mrs. Micah

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?
Robert Browning

10 Responses to “High school reunions and ruminations”

  1. mOOm says:

    I think the hosts of Mythbusters are capable of developing and executing the stuff they do. I don’t have the impression that there’s any faking going on. But there are probably quite likely more people involved in coming up with the ideas of how to do things.

    On the broader questions it is always possible to find people who are more successful than you are in all kinds of dimensions. But then there are plenty who are less so. The question is whether you are doing the best you can do given your circumstances and your desires.

  2. I agree with mOOm, the Mythbusters seem to actually know what they’re doing but I bet the brainstorming sessions are bigger than what we see.

    In regards to high school reunions, I graduated via long-distance ed courses, so no reunion for me. My husband’s is next year. If we go, I will be comfortable in the fact that we’re happy. You just don’t care as much about the details if you are generally happy.

  3. Danielle says:

    I am a very different woman that than high school me thought I would become. I have finally decided that it is okay and I am cool with it.

  4. Serendipity says:

    I tend to wonder about how good of a blogger I am and compare myself to other bloggers, especially ones that start way after I do and are way more popular than me. Makes me feel like high school all over again. As for high school renuions…
    I’m not really sure. It just depends if you feel like it would be worth it to you and if you’d regret not going later on. I think that’s the real question.

  5. Katie says:

    As someone who also has a HS reunion to attend this year (in a couple weeks, actually), I’ve given it some thought. I think that the advent of social networks has really taken the thrill out of what a reunion would be like, or at least what I pictured over a decade ago. I always thought along the lines of Romy and Michele in imagining the outcome. Even though I still live in my hometown, I am not going. I detest small talk with people I know I have nothing in common with and do still have close relationships with old classmates. In addition, the activities planned only involve a night of drinking (not a drinker anymore) and a tour of our old school. To me, this is just lame, and I think they could have done better for a class of 500 or so.

  6. Karin says:

    Budgeting in the Fun Stuff – me too! I’ve done all my (four) university qualifications via distance education – when I was younger it seemed embarrassing to admit (as it equated to an admission that my family was (a) broke and (b) unsupportive of education for girls) but now I feel quite proud of my achievements. Only catch is, I have absolutely no friends or acquaintances from my university days, so no-one to reminisce with or to go to reunions to see 😉

    Agree with you also – who cares what everyone else has to brag about, provided you’re happy.

  7. “Living life well and happily is all one needs.” – Nice words.

    For me, its amazing how different life happened compared to what I wanted/dreamed in high school.

    I just received my 20 year HS reunion letter in the mail. But sadly, I don’t remember or know anyone from that class (moved around alot). Although, I may go just because I like where they are having it at – a swanky place with really good food.

    I don’t think its so much what you’ve accomplished, but if you are living in the moment today.

  8. Karin, you should feel proud!

    We lived overseas for my last three years of highschool, so I graduated long-distance. I’m proud that I taught myself and did the work, but that is not nearly as impressive as your achievements!

  9. Jenna says:

    $100/ticket! That is more expensive than prom. Not to mention a hassle if you don’t live in the same city anymore…

  10. Revanche says:

    @mOOm: see, I also wondered if each of them had a team behind them or if they were good enough to mostly solo it. But it’s television, I’m guessing there’s at least one team.

    And yes, very true.

    @Budgeting in the Fun Stuff: I know it could be distracting, but I’d like to see the brainstorming sessions, personally.

    That’s funny, I know I’m generally happy but I suppose I’m never quite satisfied and want to be very specifically happy as well. And that’s just silly.

    @Danielle: I’m glad.

    @Serendipity: Nah, totally not worth it. One of my close friends has been trying to “bully” us into going because she wants to go but I doubt any of us will.

    @Katie: I agree with you about the social networks. What need have we of a reunion? Most of us apparently never parted!

    @Karin: Four qualifications, wow! That’s impressive. Definitely agree with BFS, I hope you are proud of your achievements.

    @Christine: Looks like you’re the only one with a decent invitation! 🙂

    @BFS: Where were you if you don’t mind my asking?

    @Jenna: Just a bit more! Even prom’s mighty expensive, I hear. And definitely not worth burning a ticket home for.

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