All hail to Whitehouse High School,
All hail to you,
For truth and knowledge,
We will ere be true,
Always in our memories,
Forever in our hearts,
We will remember,
Dear Whitehouse High.
My 30th high school reunion is coming up next month. Even though I have not seen the large majority of them in many years, thanks to the popularity of social media apps, I have been able to keep tabs on many of my high school classmates. That said, I am looking forward to attending the event and seeing people that were a huge part of my childhood.
As I started to talk about the upcoming reunion, my daughters had me drag out the high school year book so they could check out the teenage version of dad. One of the things they noticed in my yearbook was the Senior Superlatives. Specifically, they zeroed in on the page showing me (along with the awesome Mary Olga Ferguson) as The Most Likely To Succeed. A few days later, my oldest daughter asked me if I thought I was the most successful person out of my high school class.
I am pretty sure the 18-year-old me thought of success only in terms of money. I am certain I had visions of returning to my high school reunion by private jet, rolling up to the venue in a high dollar sports car while wearing a very expensive Armani suit. And then telling fascinating stories of my exploits as a retired multi-millionaire business executive.
Thankfully, the 48-year-old me knows that money and wealth are not the measures of success. I may not be able to point to the perfect measure of success, but I know the size of my bank account is not it. I also know that the only person who’s measurement of your success that is accurate and matters is you. If you are happy with your life and content with yourself, then you more than likely see yourself as successful. Your job title, the size of your house, the type of car you drive, the size of your retirement account does not matter.
So, do I see myself as being successful? Absolutely. I met and married the love of my life, have two teenage daughters that act like teenagers, have a dog that thinks I hung the moon (dogs have a way of making you feel loved), have had the chance to coach a number of kids the basics of basketball and to a lesser extent soccer, have seen some interesting parts of the United States and a smattering of other countries, have attended a large number of concerts, have sang Sweet Caroline karaoke style on a bus going through the streets of Manila while drinking a beer at 7:00 in the morning, have been involved with supporting three different Catholic schools, and have met people from all over the world that I count as friends. I feel like I have in my own small way made an impact on the world. Life hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been good. So in my book, I’m marking it down as successful.
Do I think I am the most successful person out of my high school class? That is a question that cannot be answered. Actually, it is a question that should not even be asked. No one can say that one person is more successful than another. One person’s success cannot be stacked and ranked against the success of others. My hope is that there are 200+ fellow Whitehouse High School graduates of the class of 1987 that all see themselves as successful. I plan on walking into a room full of successful people – none more successful than the rest. A room full of people in their late 40s that have weaved their way through life’s hills and valleys and are still bringing the good fight everyday.
So for any of my fellow classmates that thought they might see the class Most Likely to Succeed recipient flying into Tyler Pounds Field on his personal Learjet and jumping in a black stretch limo and walking in with a high-dollar slick-Rick suit on, I am sorry to disappoint you. You will have to settle for seeing me roll into town in my well used 2009 Saab 9-3, maybe with an iced-down Yeti in the trunk and perhaps wearing faded jeans, a Ramones tshirt, and flip-flops with a built-in bottle opener. That might get me kicked out of the Secret Society of Most Likely to Succeeders, but that’s OK. I’ll be the guy smiling and laughing while reconnecting with my fellow Wildcats.