Thursday 18 October 2012

reunion | 20 years in 3 hours

It's reunion eve, and while I wait for the colour in my hair to activate (because who wants to share grey hairs at a high school reunion?), I got to pondering - how do I summarise the last twenty years of my life into just three hours?

Straight after high school, there's the 18 months I spent working for my parents, because I didn't have the grades to get into university.

Then 18 months following that where the whole family moved to Queensland, built a dive boat that was paid for three times over, which then sank on it's maiden voyage, and fought the insurance company to payout while arguing with the bank about foreclosing the family business and having a fire sale on all stock and equipment.

Then there's the year of living with mum, when she finally left dad and I spent more time listening to his crap than hers, while working in a restaurant as a dish washer, before working my way up to kitchen hand, and substitute waitress.

Then there was six months studying and working in hospitality, before moving permanently into waitressing at a then-popular Mexican restaurant before finding out I was pregnant with Chloe (and promptly losing my job)

Shortly after Chloe was born, I moved from Airlie Beach to the Sunshine Coast (where Chloe's father had family, and supposedly more opportunity to find work. He did work, for six months.)

Chloe's dad left two days before her first birthday, and she and I muddled through for the next seven years. We moved to Brisbane when she was 2.75yrs, so I could study at university, and then just after she turned 8, we met Steve.

Most of the last six years since then are written about here somewhere.

There's a facebook group for my old school, and I asked a couple of days ago if anyone else was anxious as I was - two people replied (not counting the girlfriend I'm staying with in Melbourne - who I'm desperately hoping doesn't pop her bub out in the next 24 hours!), and one said "I'm excited to hear what everyone has achieved."

But that list doesn't look as if I've achieved anything. Is having a family the biggest achievement? (I'm a long way from knocking my family, I love them to bits, I'm just mulling over some random thoughts while I wait for my hair colour to colour.)

The one thing I remember most distinctly about my school years is that my desire to be a mum was never discussed. It was always inferred that being a mum wasn't "enough." Now, we are talking the late 80s and early 90s, when girl-power was rife, and women were expected to achieve more... whatever it was we were supposed to achieve.

And, in case you were wondering, I picked an outfit. Photo next week.


  1. I've been to a Reunion and I had a blast. Honestly, we didn't talk about what we had achieved at all, we spent the time reminiscing and it was just lovely.

    And for the record - I think you have achieved plenty!

  2. Isn't it amazing how our thoughts go haywire when we are heading to a big event! My school friends assumed I would have a whole clan of kids and be a neurosurgeon (or something) when I arrived at our 10 year reunion (many years ago now), but we still enjoyed a great time despite my being childless, divorced, and studying to be a teacher! :>)

  3. Cate, just tell them you invented post it notes!

  4. I think never giving up and carrying on whatever life threw at you is an achievement in itself. I went to a school reunion and we had the round of what are you doing now questions but just ended up telling funny stories (usually kid related). I don't remember being particularly popular at school so it was nice to hear folks say they counted me as a friend back then. And if anyone looks down their nose at you - they're probably hiding something. All children of the 80s and 90s have baggage.

  5. Any reunions I've been to people just want to reminisce and laugh about the 'good old days'...I'm sure you,ll have a blast!
    Alison xx


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