I seem to have a perverse fascination with looking at my highschool’s facebook page. It’s 1:20 a.m. I can’t sleep. And here I am looking at old names and faces. Wondering who I remember. Remembering what I can. And wondering if I too would be remembered.
You see I’m on the outside looking in. Deliberately so. I can look at my highschool’s facebook page, but I haven’t actually joined the group itself. I’m still deciding whether to do so. Just as I’m still deciding whether or not to attend my highschool’s reunion a few months from now.
My life in highschool was unremarkable and in some ways painful. But then that tends to be the operational definition of puberty for many of us. So I don’t count myself as particularly exceptional in that regard.
Moreover I totally subscribe to the belief that all of us in life were given a choice before we were born. To either be extremely beautiful, popular, and well-adjusted in highschool, peak in every manner meaningful at the age of 17, and then suffer a downhill trajectory in all your gifts and attributes for the rest of your life. Or you can gut out a relatively anonymous existence, perhaps be awkward, bullied, have zits, bad hair, glasses, maybe weight issues to boot, but if you survive highschool then you realize with great gratitude that life does get better with every moment.
Some fortunate souls actually have a foot in both worlds, life always treating them with open arms. I’d say I’m jealous. But in truth I’m just happy to have caught up.
No. I’m not the most popular nor the most handsome. I’m not the wealthiest person. I don’t live in a mansion. And I don’t have the most prestigious career.
But I do love my life. And that for each of us — particularly as we contemplate the inevitable comparisons among our peers in whatever life circumstance we find ourselves — is the best gift of all.