What follows below the fold are 4 “raw takes” that I wrote back in 2001/2002 in response to my (then) upcoming 20-year-reunion. They are disjointed and end abruptly, but capture my thoughts and emotions at the time.
I find them interesting because just yesterday, I was thinking what a waste of time it is to compare ourselves to others. Comparison is a form of narcissism that will lead to pain or delusion.
The fragment below show that I was still fixated on comparison ten years ago, but recognized the problems with it.
In eight months, I will attend my 20 year reunion.
I wonder who will attend and who will hide.
Not that I blame those who do either.
When we left 20 years ago, we were filled with fears and dreams. When we decide whether to return or not, it will be after we have carefully measured what we have become, wondering if after all these years, we measure up to our peers expectations.
Those of us who were fortunate enough NOT to be “most likely to” be anything have the easiest lot. We need only be at peace with where we have been the last 20 years, and more importantly what we will do with the next twenty years.
Few of us have as much upside in our lives as we did twenty years ago. The “optimal” path that will lead us to the presidency of a company or onto a rocket ship have long ago fallen prey to paying the bills and the school of hard knocks.
Are we all failures?
None of us has become by President of the United States yet despite all qualifying?
So we are all failures.
At least by this measure of success which is just as random and foolish as others we try to measure up to.
Our definition of success is then related to the terms that we decide to accept for ourselves.
Everyday after school during my sophomore year in high school, I played basketball with my friends on the outdoor courts at Los Gatos High School.
I don’t remember the score of any of those games. Most likely, I’d forgotten the score the following day. We played for the sheer enjoyment of it, not to win a trophy.
So why are we worried if people will think we are successful instead of just enjoying life.
Did it make you tremble when you heard?
Did you consider if you should go?
When time has come to call and measure how far we have come.
Time is a master that wars down the leads of success.
Expectations. Desires. Meeting.
Living vicariously through us, but our lives become our own. And with if the definition of what makes our lives a success.
It is called freedom.
The aspects of our lives that we choose to focus on become our own. Perhaps we pick up the chains of expectation and warp their cold steel around our arms.
But if you measure in terms of achievement then I can consider only scenarios that will leave you in failure.
What were you thinking when you heard about your first high school reunion? Leave a comment below.