On Saturday night, I got together with 7 high school friends and my wife who was a real trooper for hanging in there as the plus one and enduring all of our high school memories.
One particular moment stuck out in a very personal way. My friend Karen, who was easily one of my best friends in high school said: "I feel so bad because I really think you took a lot of abuse in high school."
Well...I suppose I should go and thank my therapist and spiritual director since I seem to be so well adjusted by now.
But I have to admit Karen's feelings were accurate. And the fact that she's absorbed a lot of the pain that I probably didn't really myself touched me very deeply--especially because I think Karen probably took a good deal of abuse herself. In fact, a great moment of reconciliation came when our friend Doug apologized to her for picking on her in high school.
We do hold on tightly to things from our formative years, don't we? And while my own awkward high school years were filled with a sense of under-confidence--a feeling that I often have trouble shaking even today--I think I've been able to put those feelings aside and remember high school as being mostly a good time of my life--even with all the abuse. I learned a lot in high school and had a lot of special teachers and friends. We wished that more people would have been able to make our dinner on Saturday--but I was really looking forward to dinner with these 7 people--3 of whom I was pretty close with in high school in particular and one of whom I have known since kindergarten!
So thanks for the memories, folks! Go Saunders and thanks for a great evening.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.