In the last week, I have experienced three very different reunions. One with my school friends as we celebrated 30 years since we left school, one with a work colleague from a company I left seven years ago and a virtual reunion with my grandfather from 33 years ago in the interview I shared in my 350th episode of Focus on WHY. All in all it has been a week packed full of nostalgia, curiosity and meaning.
Attending my school reunion was an intriguing prospect for me. I have kept in very close contact with a handful of school friends. Others, assisted by the power of social media and technology, I have been sitting on the periphery observing their lives but what had everyone else been up to? Quite a lot as it turned out and one evening was nowhere near enough to catch up properly!
Reconnecting with forgotten friends, we reminisced together on all the fun and challenging moments of our youth, seeing how much we have evolved over the decades and how far we have scattered across the world all choosing different paths to venture upon. It struck me that in the same week that I met up with my old classmates of 18, I also celebrated my son finishing school as an 18 year old. Three whole decades exactly separating these two identical milestones.
Bonds were reignited, friendships were re-established and we reminded one another of our past shared experiences and moments. It was as though we were instantly transported back to 1993 as the carefree 18 year old versions of us. Together we danced and laughed the night away without a care in the world. I am sure we all looked 48 to onlookers but for the one night we definitely each felt 18 again! So much fun!
We parted company in the early hours of Sunday morning and the WhatsApp group has been full of chatter ever since. When will the next reunion be? Next year, or the year after for a joint 50th?
Three decades separate our departure but the sense of belonging remains firm. We are a special collective with a shared schooling yet we all continue to make individual journeys with differing contributions to society. Purpose continues to weave its magic in the world and I find it so inspiring to see first-hand just how each of us have transformed over the years.
On the train journey back from Stratford-upon-Avon to London, I had plenty of time to reflect on the last three decades. I used the travel time to look back over my timeline since I left school. To notice all that I have achieved. The choices I have made and decisions I have taken. The trials and tribulations I have faced. The contributions I have made to my community and to society.
I concluded that if I could give some advice to the 18 year old version of Amy, it would be that there is so much opportunity in the world and that you get to create your own path in life full of purpose, connection and fulfilment.
I eagerly look forward to celebrating future reunions together safe in the knowledge that each time we will cherish the memories we make together for many years to come.
Focus on Reunions!
Action Point: What reunion could you organise to meet up with family or forgotten friends from the past?