I feel a little shell shocked. The Spring holidays are over and though we didn’t travel far, it seems like I’ve been around the world and back again. Facebook can do that to you!
Thankfully, despite missing the 35th Year Dalby School Reunion, I managed to ‘catch up’ with my old chums via Facebook and the initiative of a Dropbox Reunion Book with several pages reserved for each student to detail the detritus that is their lives up until now. I wouldn’t have thought it, but the idea of the book file on Dropbox was a winner (although so far only 7 people posted their Readers’ Digest lives and accompanying photos). So why have I not included my 4 pages?
Is it because I don’t know what to include? Is it that my photos are terrible or that I have a deep,dark secret or two that may come to light? No. It isn’t for any of those reasons. I simply didn’t want these people to have my story in 4 pages…..
No matter what I wanted to say, it all sounded either like boasting or…just plain cheesy
So whilst I was happy to read about ‘the most wonderful man in the world’ that my friend married or ‘the amazing trek from the North to the South of New Zealand’ that another couple embarked upon, I found myself judging them. In small ways. Yes they looked happy in their holiday snaps, their daughters and sons were fresh and smiling and were the spitting image of their parents and that New Zealand trek looked enticingly spectacular. But was it REAL? I’m not doubting that they did these things (though I’m sure there was one guy who appeared to have Photoshopped himself with an inordinate number ov celebrities). I just didn’t want to be judged, like I was judging them.
My life has been a BIG one in many ways. I’ve taken paths not chosen by others, marrying late, only having one kid, working in places like Botswana. But more than anything, I wanted to show them what it was really like…seeing a Poacher hanging from a tree with his eyes pecked out by birds, showing pictures of me at my worst in the heat of the day and the moment when I fell and hurt myself. I seek to lay everything bare in front of their beady eyes. The way the world is and was, the conflict, the sadness and the pain not just the good times.
Is that wrong? Many of you would say it isn’t. It is just that people don’t want to know the truth. People only want the shiny eyes, the beautiful sunsets and the perfect weddings. It is my belief however that we can see more about the person by looking behind the photography studio shots and that is why I am not contributing to that book. I am at the stage where, as a Baby Boomer with an head full of what happened, I only want relationships that are real and photos that show wrinkles and pain etched on weathered faces. Reunions are not for me. Only memories. And remembering what things were really like – the TRUTH.