by Sherry Sweetnam
How great it is to no longer be in the middle of our adolescent stage of development with all its ups and downs, and to gather together as adults for our 50th reunion. Some of us can say that Washburn were some of the greatest years of their lives, other people (like me) were ambivalent and for others, they were hard years. Hats off to those of you who felt ambivalent but came anyway!
These 24 reunion hours could be some of the most fun hours of your life. We are bonded together from having grown up together 8 hours a day through junior and senior high. This is more time than we probably spent with our families then! These years were the tumultuous adolescent years of great change and emotion. (I’ve looked back on my life and said, “Oh, that explains it! That was adolescence!” During those years, many of us were revealing just the social side of ourselves, but inwardly saying, “No one knows who I really am”.
So going through adolescence was a mixed bag. The upside was the everyday adventure of making new friends and learning from great teachers at a great school. The downside was the self-doubts: “where do I fit in?”, cliques, raging hormones that many of us didn’t understand, and jealousies like: how can she be so pretty? How can he be so smart? How in the world does she do that? I remember being so intimidated by a really cute guy that I had to practice deep breathing exercises before I talked to him.
And now we know ourselves that much better after 50 years of experimenting with life. Today we are even more deeply bonded than we were during those adolescent years because life has caught up with every single one of us in one way or another. And that puts us on a level playing field.
So, as we gather together, we celebrate not just our 50th reunion and our friends, but we celebrate the greatest gift of all, our gift of life.
So here’s to us! Here’s to the next 24 hours, to being open to one another, and to making wonderful reconnections (and if any fences need to be mended, then that too……) and finally here’s to more good years ahead for each and every one of us!