My 5 year college reunion was about a month ago. A few different mailings were sent out (to my mom’s house since I don’t feel the need to give the school my actual home address) – a save-the-date magnet and a pamphlet with event pricing. I had no desire to go and after speaking with the few people I keep in contact with I found out none of them were interested either. That was the end of that. I didn’t want to go on my own accords and didn’t need to as a companion. I thought nothing more of it. Austin and I planned to have our house-warming that weekend since the weather was meant to be lovely.
So the weekend of the event comes. Our party was scheduled for Sunday and we would have a ton to set up in the morning so we hit the hay early on Saturday. We were laying in bed, Austin watching videos on his iPad and me scrolling through Instagram, when I got a text. My first thought is always “what does my brother want now” because he has a tendency to text at odd hours. But when I checked the text it was from my freshman year room-mate asking if I was going to the reunion.
Now I want to preface what I’m about to say by clarifying that my freshman year roommate was a lovely girl with not a single rude bone in her body, genuinely one of the most positive people I’ve ever known so this statement is less about her and more about my feelings on being around everyone else from college. But, that text made me realize that if I were to be at the reunion I would be a mere novelty for most people. While I’m sure there would be a handful of people who would want to honestly catch up and reminisce, I feel like I would be a To Do list item for most people to check off.
My senior year of college I went a little bit wild. I had just returned from Belgium, I felt like I actually had friends on campus, and I was living it up before my inevitable entry into the real world. I don’t want to say I was a “party girl” since I tend to associate that with cocaine benders (which I’ve never tried, not interested), but I could definitely drink with the best of them and loved me a dance floor. I met a lot of people from going out, drinking, and dancing all night. I’m sure I thought of many of those people as friends at the time because I was having fun with them, but really most people were loose acquaintances. There are a few people from school I do think fondly of, but I only talk to two regularly.
I talk to two people. Two. If anyone else was interested in maintaining a relationship or even just knowing how I was doing, they would reach out the moment they had that thought. They wouldn’t wait 5 years for an overpriced school reunion. That lack of relationship with my peers made me feel as though if I were to go, no one would be interested in me as a person. They would be interested in the Amanda that existed 5 years ago. Drink with Amanda on the dance floor and check it off the list. And maybe all of this is just a reflection of some insecurity of my own, but I don’t have any interest in being a novelty experience for people who I’ve literally not said a word to in 5 years.
On the flip side of that, I also realized I’m incredibly fortunate to have the relationships I do have with the people I stay in contact with. One of those friends is actually a best friend and the other though I don’t talk to her as much as I would like, we always pick up right where we left off last. Beyond my two friends from college I’m grateful to have all of my close friends. I don’t have many, but the ones I do have an fan-fucking-tastic. They are some amazing women. When I first thought of writing this blog post the point I had in mind was that you deserve to be far more than just a novelty in people’s’ lives and while I absolutely think that’s true it feels heavy and negative. I aim to live more positively and I think gratuity is the perfect place to start (or end in the case of this post). I’m thankful for the wonderful people I have in my life and I hope to bring joy to their lives as well. I hope you surround yourself with positive, supportive people and that you bring joy to them as well.