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The Reunion I Never Attend

I just cant...

By WENNA WILLIEPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
The Reunion I Never Attend
Photo by Sergey Zhesterev on Unsplash

Is it just me?

As I sit here, reminiscing about the past and the numerous school reunion parties I've intentionally skipped, a flood of memories rushes in. The invites arrive every few years, tempting me to revisit the past, to reconnect with faces etched in the book of my school memories. Yet, each time, I find myself grappling with the same internal debate..."should I go or should I stay away?"

Let me be clear. It's not that I dislike my former classmates or harbor any ill feelings towards the place where I spent my formative years. Quite the opposite, in fact. I have fond memories of those days, moments of laughter, shared secrets, and friendships forged in the crucible of adolescence.

So why do I resist the allure of those reunion parties, where nostalgia hangs thick in the air, and echoes of the past reverberate through the venue? It's a question I've been asked many times... "Wenna, why didn't you come to the reunion party?" and now, as I attempt to put my reasons into words, I realize that the answer lies in the evolution of self and the intricacies of personal growth.

The first reunion, it was not a huge reunion, just a gathering of a few classmates arrived with a flurry of excitement and anticipation. The prospect of seeing familiar faces and catching up on the chapters of everyone's lives since graduation was genuinely appealing. As I entered the venue, the air was thick with a blend of nostalgia and excitement. The initial awkwardness dissolved as laughter and shared memories filled the room.

Yet, as the night progressed, I couldn't shake the feeling of being a spectator to lives that had evolved independently of mine. Conversations revolved around careers, families, and experiences that felt distant and disconnected from my own journey. While others discussed the trajectories of their lives post-school, I found myself struggling to relate.

The subsequent reunions followed a similar pattern. With each passing year, the differences between our paths became more pronounced. While some had embarked on traditional routes, climbing the corporate ladder or building families, my journey had taken unexpected turns. I had pursued passions, wandered off the beaten path, and, at times, faced uncertainties that my peers might not comprehend.

The pressure to conform to societal expectations seemed magnified in those gatherings. Questions like, "What do you do for a living?" or "When are you planning to settle down?" "Why do you choose to be a teacher?" "I don't see you becoming a teacher." became recurrent themes. Not forgetting the eyes looking at me from top to bottom in disbelief of who I'm going to become in the future. Though innocent inquiries, they carried an underlying assumption that left me feeling like the odd one out. It wasn't that I resented their choices or their happiness. I simply realized that my choices were different, and that was okay.

At times, the reunions felt like a time capsule, encapsulating the essence of our school years but failing to capture the depth and complexity of the years that followed. The conversations tended to gravitate towards reminiscing about shared teachers, pranks, and long-forgotten inside jokes. While these memories held a special place in my heart, I yearned for discussions that transcended the bounds of our school days.

And so, with each passing reunion, my reluctance grew. The chasm between my journey and theirs, while not insurmountable, had become a tangible presence in those crowded halls. The fear of being misunderstood or judged for the unconventional path I had chosen weighed on me.

In the solitude of reflection, I came to understand that my choice to abstain from reunions was a form of self-preservation. It wasn't a rejection of my past or the people I once called classmates, but rather an acknowledgment of the divergent paths we had undertaken. It was a conscious decision to safeguard the authenticity of my journey, unburdened by the expectations and comparisons that often accompany such gatherings.

As the years passed, I found solace in forging meaningful connections with individuals who embraced the diversity of experiences that shape our lives. These connections extended beyond the constraints of shared history and school ties. They celebrated the uniqueness of each journey, recognizing that life's tapestry is woven from threads of myriad colors and textures.

In the end, my decision to skip the reunion parties or grand yearly reunion dinner in a ballroom wasn't a refusal to revisit the past. It was an affirmation of the present and an openness to the future. I choose to remember my school years fondly, with gratitude for the lessons learned and the friendships forged. However, I also choose to embrace the journey I'm on now, with its uncertainties, unconventionalities, and the beauty of forging my own narrative.

Wenna NWDT - 7.12.2023 - Self Reflection


About the Creator


I am devoted to cultivating a love for language and literature. Wordsmith at heart, I find solace in writing and joy in sharing my thoughts. A voracious reader and internet explorer, constantly seeking knowledge and inspiration.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • Tina D'Angelo4 months ago

    I've always come up with one excuse or another to skip these affairs. Last year I looked through the photographs of our 50th reunion and realized I had nothing in common anymore with most of the people in the pictures. It would be like meeting a bunch of strangers in a city I had not returned to in years. Not my cup of tea either, Wenna.

  • Antoinette L Brey4 months ago

    That was really good, most of the people I wanted to see did not go to my reunion.

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