I'm packing to go to my 40th high school reunion in Jackson, Mississippi today. After drafting 10 of 16 chapters of a memoir which includes some painful memories of school days, I set the memoir aside and started writing a different book this summer. Tolstoy said:
"You must be wounded into writing, but you shouldn't write until the wound has healed"
Not sure I'll wait that long, but at least for now I'm moving on to something else. (My spiritual journey, which also has plenty of wounds, but more of them have healed, thank God.)
Anyway, I think the timing is good, as I'm looking forward to being with over 200 of my (over 400) high school classmates tonight and tomorrow. Really. Even though I didn't accomplish the things I hoped to achieve before the reunion, namely:
Lose 10 more pounds.
Publish my first book.
And yes, I'm heading down to Mississippi with a bit of trepidation. But I'm trying to muster up some forgiveness and humility. Like Anne Lamott said in her memoir, Operating Instructions:
"I heard some one say once that forgiveness is having given up all hope of having had a better past."
Imagine how freeing that could be. I'm working on it.
Lots to do today to get ready for the big weekend. Have to try on about a dozen outfits to pick out the 3 that make me look less fat. Then pack those 3 plus about 3 more in case I change my mind during the weekend. Obsessive? You bet. But you should have seen the beauty queens at my high school. Ole Miss had nothing on them.
This helps: Lots of my classmates have reconnected through email and Facebook over the past few months as the reunion draws near. One person I've enjoyed communicating with has also gotten into writing, and painting. We've had a great time emailing, but finally I wrote him and said, "I've just got to tell you how shocked I am that you are communicating with me. I don't think you ever spoke to me in high school. I was intimidated by you because you were in the tough boy/in crowd." He wrote me back and said, "Susan, we were all scared to death in high school... we were just trying to survive! If I didn't speak to you it was because I was afraid you wouldn't speak back."
Sure wish we could have had these grownup perspectives when we were going through adolescent hell, you know?
Or even while trying to figure out what to do with those stupid hair pieces on prom night! Well, here goes....