I’ve been having a wonderful experience lately. My fiftieth high school reunion is coming up in 2011. I found this out from an email sent to me by a high school friend and the organizer of the reunion, class of 1961, Marin Catholic High School in San Rafael, CA. My friend was also the high school principal of Marin Catholic for many years. Well, the guy was always a straight shooter and one of the guys you always remember when you think of high school. Oh, yeah, the boyfriends come first, but the friends are right up there with “make out” moments at the San Rafael Harbor or under the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was encouraged to sign up on a Facebook page, an idea I have put off thinking about for as long as there was Facebook, and before the My Space age. I didn’t want to have people connect with me because I suspected that I wouldn’t remember many people from my past. But I did sign up; I did remember most of the people; I did have a good time doing the task. Then my friend began to post high school pictures, even grammar school pictures (most of us went to one of two Catholic elementary schools), and even the announcement of my engagement and marriage to my ex-husband. Blast from the past! Oh, my God, did I really wear that Jackie Kennedy pill box hat. Astounding!
So, I put my picture on my Facebook page and then, with all due haste, I put my book title under it – SIXTY, SEX & TANGO, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer – with the notification that I am blogging.
One classmate, I remember him well because he was the boyfriend of my best friend in high school, read my blog the other day. I think he thought I was sad or unhappy or in too much pain. I think he might not have gotten my my self-effacing humor and thought that I was really lonely or was still struggling with some kind of past pain. It was a good email to me; it made me think again about the state of my being. My response to him is below:
How nice of you to take the time to read some of my blogs. I am a writer and writing for me is a way of staying conscious about my life. I try daily get to get in touch with myself is through yoga and meditation. I teach yoga all day, every day and am blessed with my work. I am also a drug counselor and have attended to the spiritual needs of people in recovery.
I have embraced my struggles, find humor in them and take each day with grace. I carry no regrets. My pain is my joy. As the yogis say, “It’s all good.” I have many gifts which I am grateful for every day. I am grateful, too, that I have used my gifts well, have had positive influences on my students, friends and family. My journey has been unique, fun, loving and welcoming. And I am not sad or lonely. I am at peace.
The direction in my writing is derived from (and this is in my book) the strangeness of waking up at 64 and finding surprises in life that I had not actually prepared for or thought of. It has been a process of re-discovering, re-thinking, and re-learning the truth of my life without the playbook or script that in other decades had been somewhat predictible. I’ve always used humor to cope with the many changes that life has brought me, and that humor in turn, has brought much joy to my living experience.
So, my friend, don’t worry about my state of being. My place in the universe, although not static, is quite wonderful.