Fifty years ago Dakota High School in Winnipeg opened its doors. I became a student there four years later. The 50th anniversary of the opening of the school held recently was cause for a celebration and I became integrally involved with one of the main events. That involvement brought me in touch with a multitude of former grads.
To reconnect with so many people who shared a common bond from our past was a lot of fun and this bond turned out to be very powerful.
Old stories, new stories, decades of catching up – it was one wild ride! As I talked with people, I realized how some had changed but mostly people seemed to be just the same as I remembered them. I realized the few who surprised me was likely because I did not know them all that well in high school so I had little to compare. The relationship back then was one on the surface only. In a couple of days I learned more about some people than I did all my years in high school.
It was interesting to see the extroverts in action and I wondered how difficult these types of events were on the introverts. Meeting people one after another gives little time for regeneration. But at least an end is always in sight when the event only lasts two days.
I am so glad I took the risk to reach out to some people. Perhaps my lack of confidence in high school prevented me from doing more of that. Life is a little different now. There is much more experience behind me. Connecting with people, while it did have some risk of rejection or a bad experience, was clearly a strength in this situation. The time just seemed to fly by during the reunion weekend. Isn’t that a sign it was a great experience? If I have any regret, it is that I wish I had more time to connect with more former classmates.
Another interesting aspect of the weekend was a commitment from some to stay in touch. I wondered why we did not stay in touch the past many years. Perhaps it was just that life got in the way. Careers, raising a family, travel… you know – life. I do plan on keeping in contact with some of my new/old found friends. After reenergizing our connection, it would be a waste to not follow through.
One of the best parts of high school was the friendships that developed and that have been maintained all these years. These core friends of mine are really important to my life. Now I am able to take advantage of this reunion to develop more friendships. That is special.
If you have had a similar experience, I would be interested in hearing from you. Maybe you intended to stay connected with people and succeeded or failed. Maybe you have different insights on seeing people after many years.
John Hindle, The Contact HitterShare