Dear high school grade
It was kind of funny seeing everyone again last night at the 10 year reunion. I think I basically didn’t meet any of you in high school. Maybe we were even friends back then, but the people we were 10 years ago seem like fundamentally different people to who we are now.
Back in high school, we formed our identities from our quirks and flaws. We formed our identities from the expectations of our friends, and we looked at everyone else and became whatever was left over. And we wore those identities like cloaks through school, to show off and hide in in equal measure. In part, I wanted to be smart and good at programming so if you asked me “who are you?” I had an answer that differentiated me from all of you.
In short, I was who I was because of how I reacted to random shit happening around me. And thats a terrible way to choose who you want to be. I rolled a 4, I guess I’m a quiet nerdy guy. I suppose I’ll head to the library and get good at maths then.
I didn’t even see my identity as a choice until years later. And that choice is the fundamental change I saw last night. We aren’t the people I remember from school. Each of us chooses our own identity now. We choose consciously, and we choose deliberately. We don’t just play dice. We decide who we are.
Thats who I met last night. People whose personalities haven’t budged but whose character has spent 10 years taking root. 10 years of little decisions about who we want as friends and as lovers. 10 years of decisions about how we want to make a difference in the world - through our work or through the families we’re creating. Or not at all (:D). 10 years to travel, to learn boxing, to start companies, to council criminals, make babies and recite poetry to school children.
So I guess, it was very nice meeting you all, and I wish you the very best.