Sunday, September 18, 2011

LOFT LIFE: What I didn't know in high school

There are lots of things I didn’t know in high school. I mean, what does a 15, 16 or 17 year old know anyway? This is funny just thinking about it from my elder perspective. But, the most important lack of wisdom I am now discovering is how wrong I was about who to choose as friends, and my oversight of some really fine people in the making.
How do I know this now? Strangely it is Facebook again that has opened up my horizons.
As my classmates gather together for a big reunion year, one of my classmates, yes, one who I overlooked then, asked me if I would create a website for our reunion. I recommended a Facebook page to start with.
In doing that, more than a dozen classmates have signed up to get the information on our 2012 reunion, and most of those people are ones I hardly knew in high school. They were popular, or athletic or quiet or not in my classes, or they were the boyfriend of a friend who ditched me in high school, or they just weren’t in my purview at all.
But, these people, as I connect or reconnect with them now, are really good people, people I want to know, people my husband and I would go out to dinner with, people who have wonderful values, outlooks on life, and who are kind to me and uplifting, and even encouraging. They are people of faith, people who are hard-working, family-oriented, savvy, and friendly. 
Why didn’t I see this in them in high school?
It makes me sad to have missed so many friends then, and maybe even so many years of friendship since then. But it makes me happy that it isn’t too late. Thanks to social media, we are connecting.
And, the best part: when we gather for a reunion next year, it won’t be to compare grey hair, girth or success. It will be to say hello to people who I am now feeling very connected to, very excited about seeing again, face to face. Thanks to social media, we already know about the grey hair, the girth, the successes, and so we can get right down to sharing more edifying stuff. 
I wish I could pass down this information, this wisdom, to my grandchildren. One of the adages that comes to mind is something one of our church family friends in California said to my youngest daughter: The nerds of today are the CEO’s of tomorrow! That actually made an impression on her. She chose boyfriends based on it--no kidding. That made me laugh, because I had no such mentor when I was in high school.
But, it isn’t just the nerds who I missed out on. Actually, I always preferred them. But, I didn’t know that John, who loved motorcycles and black leather jackets, was intending on law school, or that Ronnie, the athlete, would be a friend who organized reunions and attended to details like researching names and phone numbers and emails and addresses so all of us didn’t have to do that, or Mike, Allan and Ed, who share political concerns with me, and who I hardly spoke to in high school, or Sally, who was voted best dressed in our yearbook, but who I have come to know on FB as a very loving woman, who I wish I had known better back then as someone more than a very pretty face.
Anyway, you get the picture. I was a young, clueless teen. I am now an older, wiser woman. And, I am grateful that it’s not too late to find friends in my high school class.

And, maybe it's not too late to pass down this wisdom to someone--like you--so you can pass it down to your children and grandchildren.