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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

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.

7 Comments:

Blogger header5 said...

I grew up in a suburb of Dallas and that's where I am heading back to. I have lost contact with everyone I grew up with but maybe two or three people. I have no desire to attend my reunions. I am not the makeup and hair kinda girl anymore, plus my high school was so big, probably wouldn't know very many people. I have to wonder what it will be like when I get back. Wonder if I'll reconnect with anyone I knew back in the day. Eh, probably not.

I am addicted to VH1 classic. Can't get enough.

10/03/2006 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Rooster Cashews said...

I lived in Richardson and have since moved to Allen.

I don't know the last time you were here, but I think when you get back you'll find not much has changed except places you may remember being open fields have been converted to strip shopping centers. The weather is still the same, so at least you have that.

By the way, the offer of the margarita still stands when you get back.

10/03/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger header5 said...

That's too funny, I am from Plano. One of my friends lives in Allen. I have visited a few times a year and it seems very different then what I remember as a kid. We used to have a field by my house which has been gone for many years now. I visited in April and Plano's popluation was up to 250k. I am looking forward to getting back to a bigger city with more of the things I like to do (sporting events!)

I NEVER turn down free alcohol! Do you still have to have a membership everywhere you drink there?

My 20 year reunion will be in 5 years. Even though I will be living there again, I probably won't go. Well, unless I was skinny or something crazy like that!

10/03/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Rooster Cashews said...

I think the Unicard is still in play at some places. I know since Plano is wet, you don't have to use the card at the restaurants, but I think dry areas like Irving or Garland still use it.

Plano is a mess for driving which is one reason I started working from home. Central Expwy at 6 is not a fun place to be and I don't miss the commute at all.

Do you have a job lined up yet? I'm thinking the job market here is a little better than the NW.

As far as the reunion... Like I said, I have no interest in seeing anyone associated with Pearce. I got along really well there. I ran track, and was friends with most everyone, but after not seeing them for 10 years at the prior reunion, and now 10+ years later, what's the point? Small talk on who had a boob job, "Johnny" bragging on what his kids are doing right now, and how many divorces someone has been through just doesn't appeal to me.

Until the new high school opened in Plano several years ago, Pearce was considered Highland Park North. My life has moved far beyond that time and I don't want to revisit it. Maybe most everyone else has moved past that too, but something tells me it will be nothing more than a "look at what I've done" grab-ass festival. At least that's how the first reunion was.

Abuelo's restaurant in Plano makes pretty good margaritas, so maybe that will do. Give me a shout after you settle in.

10/03/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger header5 said...

No job lined up yet. Although my friend who lives in Allen is opening a used video game store mid November and he says I can work there til I find something. I've got my resume posted at the big companies there already and my mom is sending me the Morning News each week (too big a pain in the ass to do online.) Job market here sucks, I gave it 5 years, so time to try to earn an actual living and have cheap housing. I am hoping to find something that will pay well and dosn't drive me batty. Shouldn't be too hard HA.

I have no idea who I was in high school, she sure wasn't me. I didn't figure it out til I left for college, well, really into my 30s. I would be more interested in who died than divorced. I am just sick that way!

I guess I'll have to get used to traffic again, bummer. I'd hate to work from home. Too many reruns of Law & Order for me to get any work done.

I think I know where it is...I think I've heard it's good.

10/03/2006 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger Rooster Cashews said...

Does this mean I can get discounts on my video game needs? Although the only videos I feel like playing these days are the Tiger Woods kind. You know you're getting old when video games start to become too difficult to play, and any 10-year-old kid can beat you.

Working from home is perfect for me, but I do miss the human interaction of the office. Then I remember the extra hour I can sleep in the morning, weigh the value of both, and pick sleep as a higher priority. I do go to the office every Friday, so it's not like I'm a complete hermit. I think my family still likes to see me too, so until they say otherwise I head in for a few hours each week.

I'm in the insurance industry, so I don't need to meet with people that often, and I can always go to meet them if they need that.

Are you looking for the same type of job you have now? Or something different? Not that it's any of my business, but from what you say on your site, you're a counselor or a similar background. Is that right?

As for Abuelo's, I think their food is pretty good. They're located between Parker and Spring Creek facing Central. It's not the best Tex-Mex around, that would be Esparza's in Grapevine, but they do a decent job.

It's bedtime now. I have a full day of sitting around in my shorts scheduled for tomorrow, mixed with a little work. If it's alright, I'm heading to your spot real quick to drop off my email. I don't like posting too much personal info here.

Talk with you soon.

10/03/2006 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger header5 said...

I really only enjoy old school games. I am way too lazy to learn all the damn tricks.

I've been eating at Tino's since I was a child and still love it. He changed his recipes when his wife died but he has the best hot sauce in the world, hands down.

As for work, not sure I want to stick with social work, and certainly not alcohol and drugs, been trying to get out of it for 5 years. The gambling counselors are at a training for the next three days and I have to carry the cell phone for the help line. There is not chance in hell I am going to be able to sleep. Too jumpy expecting the phone to ring. I want to find a job that is stable, pays well, and I kind of like doing. Haven't had that in a while. Might be fun to finally get a cubicle.

10/03/2006 10:04:00 PM  

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