40 Years

I graduated from high school 40 years ago next month. Time flies and creeps simultaneously in life. I haven’t stayed in touch with people from my hometown because I never felt we had much in common. I occasionally saw a few old classmates back in the day when I used FaceBook, but once I got rid of FaceBook that contact stopped. It was sad in a way, but not overwhelming. I haven’t been in my hometown in over 20 yers, since Mom passed away and I went back fo take care of business. Until that time, I did visit her, or paid to have her fly out to visit me wherever I was at the time.

I thought about this 40-year anniversary and wonder if there is a reunion planned. I haven’t attended any reunions so far, I don’t think I want to start now. It would be interesting to know what is going on, but I don’t want to let all those people from so long ago into my life again. I left them behind when I left my hometown for college and then joined the Navy. I have seen so many wonderful things that directly contradict the small-minded viewpoints I saw on FaceBook from people still in my hometown. My worldview evolved and I don’t want to walk into an environment where conflict is likely.

Through the years I have interacted with some of my classmates, as I mentioned earlier. I could feel the tension involved with communicating after all the years apart. Life experiences were not compatible with people who never left our hometown. Those people fell into the conventional approach to life and are stranded there. I could feel the frustration in their voices when I told them about places I have been and people I have met. What starts as jealousy turns to distrust and in some cases, outright hatred.

I represent what they could have been if they took the initiative when they were younger. I don’t claim to be superior, but I do feel comfortable with my life and hold no jealousy towards them. I am the outcast and that suite me fine. There are others from our class who went into the world. None of them have gone back to our hometown either. I cannot say if they feel the same way I do, but that is none of my business.

I suppose that the symbolic 40-year milestone is why I am thinking about these things. I have done well without returning for 40 years, I see no reason to go back now. I hold no ill will, I just cannot miss something that I never had, and that is a connection to my hometown after all these years.

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