Reunions, what a strange arrangement. What a great arrangement. Last Saturday, 50% of all the students from the three graduating classes from Ljungbyheds junior high 1990, returned to a building where school dances were held 25-years ago.
Did we time warp and become as we once were. Naturally, I can only speak for myself, but some extent yes. But only because we still are part of the ones we were (I have no scientific proof of this, this is just random speculations).
Personally, I’m loud, unashamed and to be honest, a quite terrible, center of attention seeking kind of person. I really have had to work to let other people be seen and heard. In familiar environments, that is. In new, or partly new constellations I am the quite, reflecting kind of person. Looking, listening, taking in (and by all means making judgements) in order to gain information to use later. So in other words, I am quite strategic and calculating, not in a bad way (only). In that sense I think that I was quite similar as the thirteen year old version of me, but back then I was probably only shy and less calculating. Back then, my junior high (nerd) click was my home environment allowing me to be the attention seeking me, while outside of it was the quite one.
After champagne and lunch with my proper, ambitious, hard studying and quite boring (then) girls friends we joined the rest of the party at 1.00 pm. I managed to identify 95% of the crowed (only thanks to M who made copies from the yearbook so we, the nerds, could study names and faces beforehand). Others I could never had guessed (apparently boys grow after 15…) and there were some, I swear, who I never had seen…
But, the most remarkable thing of this specific reunion was the atmosphere. Me and my nerd friends were so surprised that the number of people needing to assert themselves were close to 0. Instead we very well grounded people, quite similar, in the middle of our lives. Married, divorced, with and without children (no-one, that I heard of, had reach grandparent status). We shared the ones we are and were, the good, the bad and the ugly. And the judgement of our choices where non-existent (at least there and then). If you gotten kids early – great, gotten them later – fantastic. Who cared. Married with your high-school sweetheart – fabulous, divorced a bad-ass person, even better. Moved all around the world, fantastic. Found peace in your child-hood home – congratulations.
In hindsight I wonder if this was because we actually grew up at the same place, were already known (even if not recognized at first) to the crowd. Or, is it so the we who showed up are people with good self-esteem and that is exactly why we chose to come (not saying that all the ones who didn’t doesn’t have good self-esteem). And our curiosity what have happened to the others was bigger and more important than to show-off ourselves. Maybe this is when jante is at its best. Making everyone feel really good rather than needing to stand out.
I doesn’t really matter. The most important thing is that we had a really good time when we were there. All thanks to three people making the effort of bringing us together and the rest of us showing up with very little need to glow, as the well-grounded country people we all once were.