Perhaps it is because my 20th high school reunion is next week, but I am finding myself using hindsight in new ways.
In 8th grade I started attending boarding school. My dorm parent and advisor, Miss Beers, seemed so old to me, so wise and so experienced. While waxing reminiscent, it occurred to me that she was probably just out of college; it turns out that she was a mere 22 years old at the time.
I wonder how I would have handled the challenges presented to my teachers if I had to face them at such a green age. At the time I resented their reaction to my acting out, but now with this new insight, my empathy grows. They were so young to address so many complicated situations and relationships. My young teachers were no older than my current classmates.
So here I am about to attend my 20th reunion, rapidly approaching 40 and I am looking both forward and back. While discussing Buddy Guy with a young classmate last night, she insisted that someone so OLD couldn’t possibly still be living. For the record, he is only 73. And this leads me to the shocking realization that I am using “73” and “only” in the same sentence. 25 years ago I thought 22 was old, now I making an argument that 73 isn’t that old and I think that my 24 year old classmates seem so young to me.