Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Infamous 20 Year High School Reunion
I'm desperately trying to control myself, my excitement and my dying to come home because I'm not leaving for another twelve days, but it's fairly close to impossible to not bounce as I walk. I have taken a vow of self-control, and I'm starting to think it's rather boring. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!
First of all, I desperately need to leave the Tuscan scene, it's killing me. I don't desperately need to leave my kids, but there is no Thanksgiving break here, so I can't take them with me. I have not been home for Thanksgiving in thirteen years. I've been trying to imagine the scene, that's how the going back to Elementary School post came to mind, but it's painful. I spent my last Thanksgiving with my grandfather who is no longer with us and my grandmother who is with us but not entirely. I know that all these Thanksgiving memories will flood back and I will crave the kids' table that I so desperately wanted to leave behind to finally graduate to the adults' table. This year, I will volunteer to trade places with a child- just send me straight to the kids' table and let us chat psp and wii.
When I was in High School, I read the play "Our Town" in Mr. Gray's twelfth grade English class. I was in love with Mr. Gray. There is a scene in that play where Emily asks to go back to a moment in her life and her wish is granted. What she sees is herself going through the motions on one of her birthdays. She watches her mom and her dad and realizes how precious they were, yet that she never really absorbed them completely, fully. Reading that play gave me a new perspective on my loved ones, and I always really tried to concentrate on them, especially during holidays to remember how they smelled, how they smiled, how they breathed and above all how they laughed. But those intense try-to-remember-and-absorb-moments have faded.
There is no turkey in Tuscany, the ovens aren't big enough. Stuffing? Non-existent. My memories, feelings, culture are so totally different than what happens here, and I need to go home.
Today I spent the day alone, and I was fine. Speaking of culture, Sundays are spend the day at the mother-in-law's house and eat til you pass out. No longer an option. My kids ate til they passed out and were so happy- this is a fundamental part of their growing up culture. Now I find myself here in this place without family and it is not an easy situation. Yet, at the same time, it's okay. Life changes and we change with it, adapt and see the glass as half full.
I don't know exactly how to explain the feeling, but I have been so many different Jodis that I'm trying to figure out how the hell to come to peace with this one..the current one. The high school reunion thing has me somewhat in crisis. First of all, I don't know if I can go because my plane leaves the next day and the night before I leave is always critical spend the last moments with loved ones time. Second of all, thinking about my reunion makes me think about the high school Jodi and it terrifies me to think how much I've changed yet stayed the same. Twenty years is a long, very long time.
The good news is that I have no enemies from high school, so I come with a clear conscience. I've reunited with most people via facebook, so the surprises will be limited. I will say that I'm curious to see who comes, who's changed and who's stayed the same. But, I could live the rest of my life without attending the reunion and survive...it's just that there's this curiosity thing goin' on.
Anyway, I will say this. Twenty years later, I am satisfied with who I have become. And I consider myself extremely fortunate.