Some people dread their high school reunions. I was very excited for mine! I looked forward to meeting the women my classmates had become since graduating from Westlake School for Girls in 1982. Dressed in a gray mini skirt, white button down blouse and saddle shoes, these women were family for 6 years. We were a tight knit community that survived and succeeded in the century before iPhones, iPads and Facebook. Who knew?
We gathered at The Ranch, the same place where we took field trips and attended school dances with Harvard boys in the 1970s, a venue that needed very little to create the mood and transcend us back in time.
We had an amazing turnout – over half of my Westlake sisters arrived thrilled to re-connect, rewind time and return to our stirring adolescence.
Returning to high school for the evening brought to mind, a few of my standard expressions -
“You do not want to peak in high school.” (My kids love to tease me about this expression as I warn them to pace their adolescence – especially when they feel less adequate, less beautiful or less talented than other ‘showy’ peers!) And my reunion proved this statement to be true. My classmates who were far from ’peaking’ back in high school (and most of us were!) appeared to be enjoying more fulfilling lives!
“Some people never change!” The most interesting girls in 1980 were still the most interesting women in 2012. Girls who smoked pot in high school, still like to smoke pot at 48. Girls who were shy, were still quiet women. Girls who were theatrical in high school, were dramatic mothers and professionals.
“Good friends are friends for life.” Women drinking martinis under the star light chatted with the same women who – as teenagers once upon at time – they hung out with on the Great Lawn drinking TAB. 30 years melted away and for a few hours time truly stood still.
“Happy people age well!” Maybe the lighting helped? I was thrilled to see how beautiful my former classmates were after 3 decades! No mean girls arrived, just comfortable women with the hearts and minds of happy Westlake girls reunited once again.
“Be yourself!” Girls who had blue hair in 1980 did not have blue hair in 2012, but were still striking individuals. Girls who may have made some mistakes over the last 30 years, were welcomed in as family. No mean girls!!!
“You are only a happy as your least happy child.” Many women ‘qvelled’ about their delightful children; those with teenagers lamented on the challenges of raising adolescents. The irony hit home – I only knew most of these women as teenagers and now their biggest challenges were raising their own teenagers.
“Possunt Quia Posse Videntur” - “We Can Because We Think We Can” – This was the Westlake School Motto. I have not used this expression in 30 years, but I have lived by it! I hope that by word and deed, I have also shared it with my own children.