01 November, 2008

My Life...

...is no longer recognizable. That's not a complaint, just a wide-eyed observation.

Today I spent an hour on the phone with a VIP's speechwriter, ensuring he was well-informed on the topic of an upcoming speech... in-between trying to arrange a conference call to the satisfaction of a major business CEO, working on plans to raise at least another $100,000 for charity in the next month, and picking up my formal gown from the seamstress.

Hunh? I haven't worn a formal since I was in high school!

Still to do: write a press release involving a sports star and the kinds of people who will be spending more for the one-time chance to rub elbows with celebrities than I earn in a year.

You know... someday I'm gonna slip up and they're all gonna figure out I'm just a former elementary teacher running on fumes of instinct and living someone else's life. The thing I want to know is: Who's living my life? Not that I want it back, you know... I'm just curious, like. :P

Speaking of high school... this week I finally succumbed to the Facebook invitations of old friends and began the process of reconnecting with high school classmates I haven't seen or spoken to in 15-20 years and who thought I was going to be a high school history and religion teacher, or maybe a pastor. That was before professional musician, elementary music teacher, childcare drone, volunteer, and now the current job.

It's cliche but true: that was a lifetime ago. I hardly even know that person named "FbL" I see in the pictures my classmates have posted.

And yet, to each other we're still the kids we were nearly 20 years ago. We live frozen in the pictures plastered all over the Internet, our arms around each other, the easy and carefree grace of youth that somehow coexisted with the angst-filled awkwardness of those who didn't quite fit and the paper-thin confidence of those who thought they did... And there are the comments on my Facebook "wall," bearing names beamed from past to present as if we'd never disappeared from each others' lives, each syllable a flood of memories... all waiting for replies...

But how did we all get from there to here?

The boys and girls now with families of their own? That's easy to understand, what's we all thought we'd do. But the ones who seem to be still living a swinging single lifestyle are understandable, too. There's even an artsy Pagan classmate in the mix (never saw either of those characteristics coming!) and a formerly burka-wearing girl now advertising an "open relationship."

And that just scratches the surface. Surely they've changed as much as I have... The sparkle's gone from B's eyes, but that incandescent glow of joy in K's is still there--brighter, even. W looks darker than he ever did, and I know R has literally lost his mind. C looks happier than I thought she could be, surrounded by a loving family; I'm not sure I saw that in her future. I heard N had cheated on her certification tests and never reached her dream; I wouldn't have thought her so weak...

How to explain where I am, and how I ended up here... that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now? Explain milblogs? Trying to straddle the military-civilian divide? Working closely with people I've met face-to-face just 3-4 times, if ever? Sheepdog caretaker? I have no idea where to start--I showed no inclinations toward this 20 years ago...

Well, at least some threads run true: I'm still an irrepressible smartass to anybody of stature or authority. Always have been... Today when the VIP's speechwriter allowed at the end of our business-like conversation that he was a naval aviator by trade, I enthusiastically expressed my joy in having found him to be articulate and literate with no apparent knuckle-dragging tendencies.

Fortunately, after a moment of stunned silence during which he weighed the possible interpretations of my impudent words, he roared with easy laughter and the previously business-like conversation relaxed into a warm and friendly exchange.

So, maybe I can keep 'em all fooled for at least another week... In the meantime, somebody find my real life and make sure it never comes back. I kinda like the one I've got, now... :P