Monday, June 18, 2007

10 Years On

Fate, mysterious temptress that she is, scheduled my 10 year high school reunion for the week after my homecoming party. While the homecoming concluded the most recent chapter in my Book of Life (Chapter 7: South East Asia), the reunion serves as a synopsis of the previous ten years and is an opportune moment to reflect on the work in progress. It’s been an intriguing mix of comedy, adventure, romance, and tragedy. We’ve seen the character of the protagonist develop, relationships grow more complex, and the importance of events come into focus. What will transpire in the pages to come? Which preciously introduced characters will become significant and who else will we meet? Will the plot continue in the same direction or is a major turning point in the story fast approaching? Will the novel grow redundant or is it just starting to get good? It’s been an interesting read thus far, full of twists and unexpected storylines; I’m looking forward to reading on . . .

I am infinitely wiser and more experienced than I was 10 years ago. I have loved and lost and learned to love again. I have discovered more about myself, the world around me, and my place in it. I have been tried and tested, have made and learned from my mistakes, and have come to understand and appreciate so much of the advice offered me.

Despite all this, recurring doubts flash across my mind.

Am I satisfied with my life? Have I achieved what I had hoped to upon graduation? Would my former self be proud of what he has become? Would the idealistic teenage me be impressed or would the jaded teenage me be ashamed? Do I even care? Do I value the opinion of this pimply faced teenager, or are his expectations merely the daydreams of a naïve child? Priorities change, so much of what was important to me then seems so frivolous now, and so much of what I then took for granted I wish I had appreciated more.

How do I remember this first decade since leaving the proverbial nest? What have I achieved? What do I regret? And how will I look back on this period when the time comes for the next reunion? Do I even think about the 25th reunion? Who will I be in 2022 at age 43? How important is it to me that I meet the approval of this elder me? What do I hope to accomplish for him in the next 15 years? How will he judge my choices? Do I care? Am I living for the me of tomorrow or the me of today? Or to rekindle the aspirations of the youthful me of 1997? Or to make proud the me that will attend the 50th reunion in 2047?

To which self am I faithful? Are these the glory days I will fondly recall or the wasted years I will bitterly regret? Am I progressing? Am I stagnant? Have I gotten off track? Am I going in circles? Am I going backwards? Where am I going? Is that where I want to be, where I wanted to be, or where I will want to be? Why am I going there? Whose desires am I fulfilling? Whose desires should I be fulfilling?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

don't worry, you got it.