The Class of ’92
A confluence of high school friends online lately. It’s comforting to see how established and stable everyone seems to be as adults. There are teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, businessmen, parents, husbands, wives and the like. There are even a couple of rogue single people. Hot stuff! Also, that thing I’d expected where everyone evolved wholesale into overweight, complacent and unhappy adults, to the best of my knowledge, did not happen – thank goodness – preserving the overall soulfulness of my cohort. Used to be that I thought I was born a year too early. That there was a pronounced generational rift between people my age, and those just one year younger than me. That a snapshot taken today would depict the former as resigned, clock-punching suburbanites, and the latter as vibrant, clever adventurers. I hypothesized some sort of cultural, technological, and likely spiritual split that somehow placed itself definitively between classes of ’92 and ’93 nationwide. And though I suspected such a dichotomy to be grossly oversimplified, which it is, I never really sought to refute it. Perhaps my problem was – and is – that I just don’t hang out with enough people my own age.
Yes, then there’s me: over-educated, under-experienced, and ever so slightly out-of-focus. Nevertheless, I can say in earnest that I’m satisfied with the kind of person I’ve become, which is no small thing given the state of affairs back in 1992. Back then, there was certainly much potential, but there was also a complete lack of identity and vision, which I’ve often attributed to the distraction of an unwelcome betrothal. Easy for me to blame it all on a girl, right? At the very least, I can say the dynamics of that doomed relationship set in place some strange cognitive and emotional barriers that took me far too long to clear away. Lesson learned.
For my part, I’m working once again, this time as an epidemiologist for the state. A two-month period of joblessness afforded me the time to finish my thesis analysis and do the bulk of the necessary writing. The layoff, really, was a blessing. My previous job, while gainful and often challenging, distracted me from the mantle of ‘radical careerist’ I’d ostensibly taken up when I decided to obtain these various graduate degrees (this is bit of revisionist history, but indulge me for the moment). Turns out I needed something to cleanse the palate, as it were. So here I am, thinking of crosshairs and big game. And getting down with remembering how dangerous I am when I’m focused.
So it is with both great nostalgia and anticipation that I welcome old friends back into my daily consciousness, because they remind me that the 18-year-old me has some unfinished business.
p.s. A fall afternoon at home in Colorado beats just about anything.