So I survived my 20 year high-school reunion in San Antonio Texas. That seems odd to say because (other than a few aches and pains) I barely feel older than 20. Apparently it is a rare thing, but I really had a nice time in high school. I think I had/have some beautiful, wonderful friends and had an amazing existence in the 1980’s. I would not have considered myself to have been the most beautiful or popular teen – but I was fairly comfortable in my own skin. I think I held my own fairly well, and tried not obsess about my “flaws” or inadequacies – which really only existed in my head anyway. So I thought the reunion was a right of passage, and I would probably regret it if I did not go. Besides, I got to use this as an excuse to buy a fly pair of 4″ peep toe python heels.
So here are some observances: In general people seemed a little nervous and/or anxious. The anticipation that builds up to the event for several different reasons (both good and bad): Some people feel guilty about not keeping in touch with everyone and think it would be more awkward and/or a waste of time to show up and start anew. I personally have been bad about keeping in touch, but don’t think that is a unique situation. Everyone is in the same boat. But if you had friends worth a lick you will pick right up where you left off. Some people worry that they were going to forget everyone – and in fact that was the case with me as well. Some people did not like who they were in high-school. Some people peaked in high school, and still think there are certain expectations placed upon them. Some people do not like who they are now: They do not think they are accomplished enough, are obese, bald, wrinkly, etc. Perhaps you lied and told everyone you were going to Medical school and instead you ended up as a valet parking cars at a local night club. Maybe you have been divorced 4 times? Were you the class whore? Rest assure, those sort of people don’t bother to show up. But who cares anyway. You are a loser with a 17 year-old mentality if you still need those sort of people to feel better about yourself.
As soon as you walk in the door there are immediately 50 -100 people who you have literally not seen in two decades, squealing at you, and it is complete sensory overload. I had to stand off to the side for a little bit and take it all in. People tend to over drink, including myself. I thought almost everyone looked the same or better – but then I had my friend correct me and just tell me I either did not recognize the fat/old/ugly people and/or I was just viewing everyone through beer goggles.
It was amusing to hear how much of an impact I had on a few people’s lives. It is/was interesting how different people perceive(d) the same situation(s). I honestly think I have forgotten a bunch of the bad things that actually happened – or just chose not to hold on to them. I guess I have changed and allowed others to change. Separation does that – it fosters/encourages/enables growth. I did not go to college with the same crowd like most everyone else did. I had no intention of reverting back to my role when I was 15-18, nor did I place those expectations on anyone else. I love who I am today. I wish I was thinner, made more money, and were more advanced in my career….blah blah blah (poor pitiful me) but I am honestly happy, adore the man I am with, love my house, am sure of myself, full of love, love what I do, am humorous, playful, yet am very insightful. And still growing; learning.
I have been divorced and don’t have children, and I honestly did not realize that was going to be a bad thing until I felt a few people actually pity me. Boy did that freak me out, because a bunch of my college friends have chosen not to have kids either. Then I decided it was much more interesting to tell people I had “a Sugar Daddy, and a dog” – instead of being “single and childless.” People don’t understand how you could possibly be apathetic toward babies, actually don’t feel the need to procreate, or be a mother. But I did not think it was appropriate to alienate people during a fun/party environment. Then there is the whole “job” issue. The last thing I wanted to do was “network” and sell art – but of course everyone asks what you do – and then what kind of art you do. That got old after a while too. So I came up with this whole story about incorporating menstrual blood in my work – but could not keep a straight face. In reality my work is fairly vanilla, so that kind of humorous to me. People would teeter between thinking “being an artist is cool or different ,” or “how could you possibly make a living doing something so frivolous?” So that was entertaining to navigate though as well. My real friends have always known I never choose the easy path in anything. That would be boring.
So really, how does this post relate to art? My art – my life? My advice to you, is that if you do not like who you are or what you do – reinvent yourself! Get off of your ass and do something about it. Don’t wait until your high-school reunion or your milestone birthday to reevaluate your life situation. Let go. Find courage, find love, forgive others, forgive yourself, allow yourself to grow/change, allow others to grow/change. Don’t be afraid of new things. Constantly learn. Be adventurous. Make new friends and tell the one’s that you do have how much you love them. Have lots of sex. Dump toxic people/jobs/relationships. Love yourself. Find out what you want from life and grab the bull by the horns.
All in all I had a tremendous time but I was really glad to come home to my Sugar Daddy and dog in small town Florida.
Oh, and by the way, I rode a mechanical bull this past weekend as well (when in Rome, huh?):