Tell me, just why am I doing this again?
Why am I travelling 252 miles to see people I haven't seen for thirty years, who probably don't want to see me anyway? After all – there must be a good reason why we haven't seen each other in all those thirty years, they obviously didn't want to keep in touch with me.
And what will I say to all of them, who have no doubt made tremendous successes of their lives, when they ask me what I have done with my life? Abject Failures R Us. Well, me, anyway.
Wouldn't it be easier just to turn around and go back home?
But I didn't turn round and my little Mini chugged away steadily, reducing the miles between me and this reunion.
Thank goodness it was only a society reunion and not an official university one.
And, actually, it was wonderful.
Everyone was pleased to see me and I them. Yes, I was shaking like crazy to begin with, but by the end of the day, had relaxed totally – and with no alcohol involved!
Turned out, none of us there had made wonderful successes of our lives. Some of us had been lucky in our careers, many had been blessed in marriage and children, but most of us confessed to just lurching from one thing to another and dealing with whatever came up next. That's life, after all.
We laughed over old photos, partook in a quiz, told old jokes and spared a quiet moment for the friends who had been taken early from this world. Far too many of them, it turned out.
It was surprisingly easy to tell them all about my bi-polar and Moodscope. They all completely "got" it. Maybe partly because this was the reunion of the Christian Union, which meant for those of us who were there, we maybe have slightly different values in what constitutes success. Still hanging onto our faith, albeit for most of us a much changed and matured faith, is the number one criterion. Contributing to the world is right up there too. Making money, reaching the top of the career ladder – less so.
I came away having renewed some old friendships, with a list of snail- mail and email addresses, and a warm feeling of acceptance and solidarity.
We all said "let's not leave it another thirty years!", but I bet we will. Life's like that. But this time, I won't take it personally.
A Moodscope member.
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