Getting to know your teen self
RECENTLY I had the pleasure of visiting Toowoomba for my 30th high school reunion.
Hard to believe it's 30 years since that day in 1986 when I woke up one day and thought to myself, "Right, what do I do now with my life?”
To be honest, that's pretty much every day since.
For those of you who haven't experienced the joys of the good old fashioned high school reunion, here's some of the things you will be saying to yourself over the course of the evening.
"Oh I know that face, I KNOW that face. Whatshisname....oh damn my memory.”
"We pashed where? I don't remember that. You sure it was ME?”
"Oh my God, I'd totally forgotten....hang on...WHY would you remember that?”
"Really? That's great. Well unlike you I haven't travelled the world and don't drive a BMW. That's my Hyundai Getz in the parking lot. The one with the coat hanger for an antenna.”
"Look, I'm really sorry I dumped you for another girl. If it makes you feel any better she was a rubbish kisser and we split up two months later. She's now got nine kids, two teeth and lives on welfare.”
Okay, so some of those may have been exaggerated for literary reasons.
At one point of the evening I gave an impromptu speech and asked everyone to raise their hands if they thought their life turned out how they thought.
Interestingly, nobody did.
Truth is, no matter what plans you make in school, life will always find a way to throw you a curve ball. For all the plans we make as youngsters, who knows where you'll end up?
The strangest thing is that even though I was surrounded by other 40-somethings, when you see someone you haven't seen for 30 years you still see the person you went to school with, not the person they are now. Despite that, it's incredible how you can strike up a conversation because you all shared a special bond.
We all know that school days are the best of your life, but it's not until it's all over that you finally realise that. So those of you with kids reading this, go tell them again how lucky they are. That's if you can get them to look up from their phones.
Today's kids are lucky. With social media they will never lose track of each other. Try finding people without the internet and it becomes an impossible task. Pfft. Kids.
When I left school in 1986 George Michael was lusted after by girls around the world, mobile phones weighing 2kg were only used by the filthy rich, and Joh Bjelke-Peterson was still Premier.
At least one of those things will be remembered fondly....*sings chorus to 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go'*
So after being thrown out of the venue at 1.30am because the staff wanted to go home and one too many bottles of champers (call me Patsy), what was the one thing I took away from my 30th Reunion?
Truth is that there was one guy there who had the same haircut, was fit as a fiddle, and didn't have a single grey hair on his fine head of hair. He looked the same from when I last saw him thirty years ago.
I asked him his secret. Turns out he was the only person there who didn't have children, and was a high school teacher who enjoyed 10 weeks off a year.