Reunion: self-exposure

Friday, September 30, 2016

Jordan Levitin
Written by Jordan Levitin (BES '81)

We dash through life, our eyes fixed intently on a busy present and the promises of the future.  Days of sameness and moments of revelation stream by until we hit a milestone.  A transitional birthday, the death of a loved one, an invitation to a class reunion might make us stop, take a deep breath and glance back over our shoulders to take stock of our journey. 

Our familiar present freeze frames, and images of what seemed like yesterday crowd in.

Five years ago, an invitation to my undergraduate 30th reunion arrived, stopping me in my tracks.  From a present grown comfortable, I conjured up who I was – a tangle of uncertainty and secret desires hidden behind a gregarious façade.  My classmates, bright and beautiful and uncommonly supportive knew me, but not who I had become. 

Thirty years of activism, societal shifts, and the unconditional love of community and family had allowed the real me to flourish.

As we gathered, thirty years of evolution was reduced to a five-minute “what-have-you-been-up-to” story.  Coming out again, decades after the rest of the world figured it out, to people I loved but didn’t really know, was one more important milestone in my life’s journey.

Relieved that it was really just one more story, I eased back into familiar camaraderie feeling even more comfortable with these important souls than I had so many years ago. 

Jordan Levitin is looking forward to the 35th anniversary reunion of his School of Urban and Regional Planning class at the end of October.

SURP class of '81