One Year to get my Life Together

March 3, 2010

I’m another year older today.

Well that’s not true.  I was another year older yesterday too.  I just didn’t mark the occasion. 

Birthdays make me mildly happy.  But as I eat my cake, a dark thought lingers in the back of my mind.  A thought that snuck up on me rather suddenly.

I have just one year until my high school reunion.  That’s kind of scary.  It was not so long ago that young Matthew had the world on a string, ready to be an astronaut, or a cowboy, or whatever stupid thing I thought I would do as a kid.

Can you find kindergarten Matthew, with all of his youthful dreams and ambitions?  Bonus points if you can pick me out of this lineup of little ragamuffins.

If you guessed front row, second from the right, you are correct!

Suddenly, I feel I’ve just dilly-dallyed nine years away and had better get my act together, so I can show everyone how sorry they are that they weren’t my friend in high school.

I’m having a hard time deciding if I’ll go.  I admit, I’m thinking the only deminsion to this event is the image you put off to others.  What else is there?  People show up and try to impress everyone they used to know.  So I’m trying to weigh the pros and cons.  Maybe you can help me decide.

Should I Go to my High School Reunion?

Pro: I will see a lot of people.

A lot of people I already am friends with and ignore on Facebook.  So I’m not sure about that.  If I’m really curious about you, I probably already know where you work, what you’re a fan of, and which of your stupid animals ran away from your make-believe farm.

Con – A lot of people will see me.
It would be much more mysterious if everyone thought I was much too important to come to the reunion.  I imagine everyone wondering where Matt is.  “Perhaps he’s so busy and successful, he just couldn’t make a pit stop in his private helicopter for us mere mortals.”  It’s my policy to not “friend” people on Facebook.  I let people come to me.  I’m much too important to ask others to be my friends!

Pro – I’m no longer a 95 pound weakling.
I was a seriously wimpy kid; the second to last kid picked in gym class.

Con – I’m still a weakling.
I’m what they call in the gym a “hard-gainer.”  That means I’m still skinny.  I could prove my strength if I just challenged someone weaker than me to arm wrestling, but that’s not likely to happen.

Pro – I’m still “swimsuit ready.”
I’m guessing maybe half the people have really let themselves go.  Sure, I’m no Greek god, but I’m ready for swimsuit season.  I’m really excited about the new men’s swimwear fashions too.  This year is going to be the best ever!

Con – I still don’t have an incredible career.
I have a career that’s really hard to explain.  I’m trying to get an education career off the ground, and I pastor a house church.  I probably won’t be rounding out my resume by saying I write a blog.  That would probably sound weak to people who actually make money for a living.  It sure would’ve been easier if I had just gone to business school.  Then I’d have a private helicopter instead of a cheap but lovable Ford Escort.

Pro – My hair is amazing.
It’s all intact, still colorful, and virbrantly curly, but short enough to not be a white-boy afro.  I’m hoping that’s more than a lot of other guys can say about theirs.

Con – No one cares about my hair.
I had my own clique in high school, and other than that I was pretty anonymous.  People didn’t know me for my hair then, and they certainly won’t be clamoring for my hair even while everyone else is losing theirs.

Pro – I didn’t do anything stupid.
Like get my name on the sex offender registry.  That’s one guy who probably won’t show.

Con – Television reunions are always disappointing.
For people who enjoyed high school, it’s like a Seinfeld reunion.  Sure the show was good.  But things are never as good as you remember them.  For those who hated high school, it’d be like an Everybody Loves Raymond reunion.  What’s the point?  We hated it the first time.

Pro – It’s going to be the best reunion ever!
Just like every year of high school, every summer vacation, and every Vacation Bible School was going to be the “best ever.”

Con – I’ll have to listen to Green Day’s “Time of Your Life” for the infinity-billionth time.
Most irritating graduation theme song ever.  Green Day sure is fighting the man with their subtly anarchist lyrics and eye makeup every time that song gets played in the grocery store.

Basically, I’m really self conscious that I haven’t accomplished anything worth talking about.  I know that’s not a great attitude, but that’s how I feel.  I feel like I’ve really got to get in gear this year and get a lot of stuff done so it’s worth going there, eating some food, and spending the evening talking to my wife in the corner. 

What do you think?  Should I go?  Did you go, or do you plan to go?  Was it a good thing to go, or a waste of time?  Oh, and my picture wasn’t really first row, second from the right.  Bonus points if you can pick the real me out.Pro – I’ll see a lot of people.