Monday, June 27, 2005

Coming Home

It's four days to our 10-year high school reunion.

A part of me is looking forward to seeing my old friends again, some of whom I have not seen since our high school graduation. I know a good number of them have gone abroad and come home, gotten married, had children, and basically have done what they said they were going to do with their lives. I wonder if, when we see each other, we will still be able to see the same girls whom we went to school with back then behind the women we have grown up to be. And although a reunion is time for nostalgia, a part of me wonders if perhaps the past is all most of us will ever have in common.

We have, inevitably, become very different people over the past ten years.

Although biologically I am pushing thirty, I think that about 70% of me is still somewhere in between 8 and 18 years old. It's hard not to remain stuck in that limbo between true adulthood and adolescence when you've spent most of your life in school. Thanks to my parents' overwhelming support, I have yet to know what it's like to worry about where I'm going to get the next month's rent, how I'm going to pay for my utility bills, and what the heck I'm going to do once my credit card bill comes in. Compared to my classmates who have gotten married, become mothers, left home, started their own companies... it feels like I have not grown up very much. It feels like I haven't really taken my life in hand and done anything particularly brave with it.

Much as I look forward to coming home, I cannot help but dread it. Amidst the laughter and the genuine affection, there is a spectre of sadness, a dying of old dreams, because reliving the past makes you realize how different reality is from what you expected it to become when you were 18 and knew you could do anything. It's a celebration of life that is tinged by a hint of tears, a mourning for whom you used to be and whom you wish you could become again.
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