looking back, looking forward

last saturday i showed up at a "meeting" with high school batchmates for a reunion being planned for december. a lot of us showed up: 29. that's already an impressive number considering that in many previous homecomings at the trinity high school grounds, there were instances that only 3 of us came. many times i have said that those of us born in 1976 are quickly approaching an age where nostalgia becomes natural, and we pine for memories of carefree days when we were more concerned about the amount of gel or hairspray we applied onto our heads, or managing the pimples that erupted on our faces. but now that nearly everyone of us has unwittingly (and in some, less gracefully) adopted new roles and responsibilities, the changes have been remarkable. i have to confess that when i belatedly showed up, i couldn't recognize most of the girls; the guys still look pretty much the same, though for most of them whom i have never seen since 1993, they have rather comfortably shifted from thin and awkward teenagers to beer-bellied uncles. in general, many of us have willingly settled into spouses, mothers, fathers, and sleep-deprived workaholics. and it's only been 16 years! someone brought along our yearbook, and other than the goatee and a little extra weight, i haven't changed at all. although there were also many surprises. one batchmate was untouched by time: he still looks like a tweener. another batchmate gained about a foot in height (seriously), but his legs look strangely long. most guys have decided to look as different as they did in high school, and this meant putting on a lot of weight, a lot of stress, and some facial hair. if anything, what has remained constant among many of my batchmates is their behavior. it surely felt like a rowdy, noisy, night, except we were allowed our alcohol. but could some of them please mature? it looked like a JS prom, with the girls in one corner, and us guys on the other! smoking and videoke were the only things that united us!

i decided to facilitate the meeting without anyone asking. if i hadn't done so, it may not have pushed through at all. we belong to a generation of nurses and IT professionals, and maybe more than a third of our batch has either migrated abroad or is gainfully employed there. we'd like to entice them to come back with this planned "big" reunion. in 9 more years we celebrate our silver reunion, and that means hosting the homecoming at the high school. i wonder how much more different we would become then.

so here i am celebrating fountains of youth, all these changes, and all the differences. cheers to growing old gracefully. and i may not necessarily be talking just about me!