Class of '69, first graduating class from my high school. Fifty years approaching and undoubtedly cause for acknowledgment if not celebration. We are highly accomplished. I know that not so much by newspaper clippings as by a mixture of prior contacts, a small amount of keeping in touch, and a large amount of Facebook where many of us reconvened about eight years ago and largely plateaued, though I did add my first new HS acquaintance in a while not too long ago.
For me HS was my fate. I did not choose it. My parents purchased a house and people who ran the school district apportioned which street's residents went to which school. I liked the people and the teachers, clearly derived benefit from having been there, and it enabled my destiny. Most of the ensuing half century proved more destiny than fate, choices about college, career, marriage, family, social and religious affiliations, political leanings, where to donate a portion of my treasure and how much. Fate never quite stopped, though. I had my physical composition, my INTJ Myers-Briggs assessment, those calls from the Dean of Discipline who programmed his office phone to speed-dial my office. But for the most part my decisions directed my future, which turned out rather well overall. That nebish from HS could direct his intellect and ambition in a purposeful way.
That did not happen for everyone. Some I might say peaked fifty years ago, never separated, and plodding along not that differently from Arthur Miller's Bif who coulda been somebody had not somebody in high school done him wrong. Death of a Salesman was a mandatory title in part so we would not have the same outcome as Bif.
Most do not live in the county of our youth, abandoned long ago for college or career or to escape the Hasidim who moved in. But for a lot, those were their peak years. For me my best times have usually been best defined as Right Now.
People put together a lot of effort for a celebration. With two months to party time, I need to make a decision. I'm not indifferent. I am ambivalent.