I’m going home tomorrow, to Montreal, for my ten-year high school reunion. Unlike a lot of people who dread gatherings of this nature, I’m actually looking forward to it. While I still keep in close touch with many people from high school, there are many I haven’t seen in a full decade. People who have shed braces and puberty-induced pounds, trading them in for careers and baby strollers. People who never left the small town we grew up in, others who left the country in search of multicultural adventures.
The woman responsible for organizing this reunion first took on the task about four years ago, amassing email addresses and phone numbers so that when the time came, tracking people down would be a fairly easy feat. I remember filling out the information she requested, fantasizing about where I would be another four years down the road. I had just started working as an editor at a magazine, and was confident I would be made editor in chief by then. My handsome fireman boyfriend and I would surely be married, but not with kids – not yet. But we’d live in a house – an old stone one, and I’d be a fabulous cook and gardener, in addition to world traveler and I would also grow another three inches and drop 20 pounds. I would also somehow be a natural blond.
Fast forward four years – I left the magazine a year ago – just two months shy of a changeover that would have seen me positioned as editor-in-chief. The handsome husband-to-be kicked me out of his life in a fiery rage, and my heart has been broken a few times since. I moved to Vancouver to go back to school and my roommate and I eat bowls of cereal for dinner because neither of us can cook to save our lives. Most of the travelling I do entails visiting the man I'm dating who is from Newfoundland, I met in Montreal, and recently moved to California. Any weight I’ve lost has come from trying to live on a student budget and I haven’t spent a cent on my hair in months.
But somehow, this is all ok. Somehow, this is all pretty great. It will be sad and funny and sweet to see the tiny offspring of the girl who shared my Bunsen burner in science class, and the engagement ring of the girl everyone was certain was gay. But when it’s all over, I’ll be happy to return to my life, in all its uncertainty and all its quirks, only to fantasize about where the next ten years will lead me.