The first time a friend told me he was getting divorced was two weeks before my own wedding. It was a little disconcerting, but not totally unexpected. They got married at a really young age and it didn’t take them long to find out that they had grown up and apart.
The second and third calls were a little tougher because they were more surprising. Two more couples were calling it quits. But I was careful not to say too much about their soon to be ex-wives. Just in case they reconciled I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t inadvertently created any stumbling blocks between us.
It was a good thing because one of the couples stayed together. Five years later I am not sure if she knows that I am aware of just how close they came to splitting up. I’ll never mention it because in my mind that conversation was just a dream I once had.
My twenty year high school reunion was held last month. I had intended to go but at the last minute decided to skip it. Some of the guys went so I heard all sorts of stories. A bunch of the forever in love couples didn’t quite make it. Most of the people are starting to look a bit older. At the ten year so many of us still had a pretty youthful appearance, but now as middle age comes closer it is getting harder to hide the years.
Bodies have grown thicker as the hairlines have grown thinner. Conversations weren’t solely focused upon accomplishments but those of the offspring, at least among the married couples.
There were more than one or two rumors about some of the newly single folks finding companionship with each other. When I heard the tale about one I was somewhat surprised because I wouldn’t have picked them for each other.
And then I remembered, it is 20 years later. I don’t know all that much about what they are doing now, let alone what they have done since we left school. In truth I don’t really care. It is one of the reasons I decided not to go. I speak with virtually everyone I want to. I really didn’t feel like making small talk.
But then again you could also say that in part it is because lately life has a bit more challenging than I like. I feel like everything I do is a fight. It doesn’t matter what it is, I struggle with it. It is draining and emotionally exhausting. I never expected or asked for life to always be easy, but damn…Sometimes I just shake my head and wonder when I am going to get another break.
The answer is that I am going to make my own break. I believe in the old saw about our being responsible for making our own luck. I am following the same advice that I’d give my own children, but it doesn’t mean that I’d like it.
Twenty years later I look back and I look forward. Twenty years ago life was nothing but potential for me. The biggest change between then and now is that when I think about twenty years from now I always include my family in my thoughts.
Twenty years since high school. I can’t begin to list the changes I have been through. I wonder if the next twenty years will be filled with as many. I wonder who I’ll be and what I’ll be doing. A while back I figured out that it is far too hard to try and predict what life is going to be like in five years, let alone twenty so I don’t spend too much time thinking about it.
Not to end this on a downer, but after what I have seen this past twenty years I wonder how many more couples I know will survive the next twenty years. If I have learned anything it is that you never really know what is going on behind closed doors.