Friday, August 21, 2009

Or maybe a Beta Fish.

Since Monday I go back to school part-time to spend loads of money and lots of time to earn a piece of paper that says I am capable of studying and completing stuff relating to a particular subject and I'm applicable to be paid a little more (maybe) than the average Joe... I've decided to write about a first day of school in 1991 that I remember vividly.

I was a little scared to go to school on the first day of first grade at Ptarmigan Elementary.  I didn't want my dad to leave me there with all the kids I didn't know.  He pointed to a girl with long blonde hair standing in line near my new classroom and said, "Joanna, she looks like she'd be a good friend."  

Lo and behold, Dad was right.  Her name was Amber and as luck would have it, she happened to live on the same street as I did.  We had fun sledding down the hill near my trailer, going to birthday parties, pestering BJ, the classmate who lived next door to her... normal kid stuff.  I credit Amber with teaching me how to ride a 2-wheel bicycle and make a hula hoop spin on my arm (not at the same time).   

My family moved when I was in the 5th grade and I went to a new school for 6th.  After that, it was rare to see Amber ever.  We ended up attending the same high school but I didn't realize it until maybe our junior year.  There were a good number of students at Bartlett and it was easy to not know who was there.

I wish I could say it was like old times again after we discovered each other in the hallways of high school, but it wasn't.  Amber and I crossed paths occasionally and that was it.  I remember the nostalgia of attending our Senior Prom and having her there too.  That... that was definitely worth a spot in the lifetime memory bank.

Since then Amber and I have seen each other once.  That one time was happenstance; we crossed paths at the Alaska State Fair last year.  Amber is happily married and has a beautiful little boy.  

Thanks to modern technology and those social networking websites I used to make fun of, Amber and I have been in touch some over the last few years.   We just had a nice conversation online about life and families and the like.  It occurred to me that we are now closer to our high school 10-year reunion than we are to our high school graduation. Time flies for sure.  I'm somewhat excited; it should be fun to see where everyone is "10 years later".  

I mentioned to Amber that the only apprehension about going to the 10-year reunion is that I will probably show up stag.  She has a family, a husband, this little life that encapsulates the essence of her existence now.   I am just I... singular; status probably not changing in the next 4 years judging on patterns based on the last 6.  I wonder if a plant would do as an acceptable date. Or maybe a Beta Fish.  

It seems (yes, I understand this is merely a perception but it is my perception and my blog, so lay off) that everyone from high school that I am back in touch with are parents, married, top of their class in some masters program, or gay.  I only mention the gay point, and pardon my non-political correctness, because men come out of the closet and all-of-a-sudden become oober popular.  It's like being gay is up there with fame and fortune these days.  Crazy how time changes things.

Case in point, I envision myself in 4 years attending that 10-year reunion to look around and see how nowhere I've gotten myself in comparison to oodles of people that wouldn't even talk to me 10, 11, 12, and 13 years previous.  I'd leave the evening of chaos thinking, "Well, that was a whoop-dee-freaking-doo-da of a good time" and probably never show up for another reunion again.  

Yet, to revisit a previous thought.... I'm somewhat excited about the whole shebang.  


Sue said...

You just haven't kissed enough frogs (and I don't mean YOUR Kermit!) yet to uncover your prince. It will happen at the most unexpected time and in the least expected place. Trust me-I have been where you are. At 29, after giving up on relationships in general, I met your Dad. We will be married 27 years in October.

Saera said...

Hey Joanna!

I enjoyed reading about how you met Amber. Nothing quite like childhood friendship.

I used to worry about how I compare with the kids I went to highschool with too. It used to bother me a lot when I wasn't in school and hadn't been and peers from my class were graduating. But you and I have always taken more unusual paths. You aren't the only one who doesn't have kids and some impressive job, etc, etc. But remember that even those things don't necessarily dictate success or happiness. A lot of married, so called "successful people" are miserable and go through a lot of trauma. How much better to be yourself. When the time is right for you, you will meet the right person. In the meantime, consider why your life is how it is. I bet you'll find some reasons why you're not ready for a partner or a kid. Your path is unique, and that's something to celebrate!