20 Years Now. Where'd They Go? 20 Years. I Don't Know.
I use the title for a reason... 20 years ago I graduated high school. Before Chevrolet took Bob Seger's song and crammed it down everyone's throat as advertising fodder for their truck line, it had a special meaning for me. The summer of 1986 (when the song came out) was spent with friends from high school doing odd jobs to make money. I mowed lawns, roofed several houses, and generally had a good time. The days were spent working, and the nights were spent drinking beer at their houses, and swimming in their pools until three in the morning. Then, we'd get up and do it all over again. I remember it was hot when working in the sun, but I never remember complaining. Time may have dulled that part, but I don't think I thought about sweating buckets while standing on a roof, or bagging grass for $25 a pop. I was (to steal the title song) like a rock, young and determined. The song was special because of the video that accompanied it. You remember music videos, right? I think VH1 Classic is the only station left that plays music videos on a fairly consistent basis. The others seem to have lost that programming style. That's probably a good thing. Anyway, the video shows Seger pulling up to a train crossing, waiting for the train to pass, and he reflects back on his youth by seeing his past on the other side of the tracks. I looked, back when I was 18, at that video and wondered what would become of me in 20 years? Would I measure up to my future dreams? The answer now is yes, and no. Could it be any other? I don't think so. The young have an idealized view of life that is skewed by limited perspective. Time gives a little to you as you work toward your goals, and strips away the others leaving them in the dust. And that's probably a good thing too. Needs change. Perspectives change. Life changes. Who would want those youthful dreams now? Not me... Except for the one about being married to a supermodel... The whole reason for this melancholy reminiscence is because my 20th reunion is approaching and I realized a few months ago that I don't care. I grew up in a town just outside Dallas proper, and moved to the North Dallas area when I was 13. The friends I knew there are gone, and scattered across the country. I hesitate to even call them friends since I have not spoken to one of them since the 10-year reunion. After graduation I realized that my real friends were the ones I knew from my youngest days before I moved, and that's where my life and future lay now. I have a close-knit group that I know and call friends, and I think that's the way it should be. Youth is gone. Some of my dreams are gone. I'm still not married to a supermodel, or anyone else for that matter. But the life I have now is the way it should be, and not the way I thought it would be. I bought a house last year, and I have a great job working with my family... My dreams didn't turn out the way I expected; they turned out better. And that is more than anything I could have dreamed up at 18. The reunion is on October 20th. I think I'll skip this one instead of rehashing a past life that holds no importance to me now.