I wrote the article below nearly a year ago after attending my own 20th high school class reunion. As it is reunion season again and I am seeing my friends from the class of 1992 preparing for their own treks back to the home of our youth, thoughts of this article returned to me. Perhaps it rings true with others.
After more reflection, I have a bit of melancholy about the experience we shared. I truly enjoyed visiting with you who blessed me with your time and conversation over the weekend. I am further grateful to you who accepted my wife (and the spouses of others!) in the weekend’s conversations, goings on, and even friendships.
However, I feel like I really missed out on knowing you throughout high school; I mean REALLY missed out. I missed out on truly showing you that I was actually capable of caring what you were going through. I was told by one of you what you thought of me in high school. Wow. I confess I did not take it well at all. Moreover, I regret not apologizing for my poor response at that time. Please forgive me.
I was conversing with a dear college friend (also someone with whom I regret not spending enough time) about this phenomenon. It is not so much that I regret where I am at 38 years old (although, central New York winters are the bane of my existence!) as much as it is that I took very few photos and really have only fleeting memories of the events of so long ago. Those of you who I would classify as “new” friends – you who ran in different circles 20 years ago or were involved in other pursuits. You are the ones I missed out on. Your dreams, your interests, and, yes, even those silly things that seem now to have been the vapor of that era.
I, for one, had hidden myself in my pursuits. Musical programs and various academic pursuits, a part-time job, and a handful of dating experiences that left me empty. I still hide. Social and extroverted is not who I am, despite what I have portrayed, however successfully or otherwise. I thank you for your patience and gentleness when we talked.
I regret not knowing some of you better than I do and I regret not keeping in touch over the years. I hope to take action on that, keep better in touch, and keep you in my prayers and thoughts.
Some of you have reached out to me in your need and even in your pain. I pray that I offered you hope in your time of sorrow and struggle.
Some of you have shared your joy with me for which I continue to celebrate with you.
Regardless of where you go or what you do, I wish you all your dreams and aspirations to come to fruition. I wish you the promise of friendship and fulfillment in your relationships.
Please know that this is not a letter of regret. It is a letter of reflection, for me, and of gratefulness. I am taking a big risk that someone will read this wrong, dismiss me, or even consider calling my wife to have me committed. This type of transparency is rarely welcome in today’s relationships, but I find that it is often worth the risk. Nevertheless, I write it because I care about myself. I also care about you.
I write this on the heels of the reunion because I just sense that this may well resonate with at least one of you. I ask nothing but your consideration of what I write, not seeking a reply – simply that you take a moment, breathe, and remember.