Pinging my past…

… and getting a “Request timed out.”*1

*1 Forgive me… computer technician humor. It happens.

Someone in my past has continued to pop into my stream of consciousness over and over for the last few days. Someone I haven’t seen or spoken with in almost 15 years.

I’m not sure why this particular person has been popping into my brain as of late. But they have been. So I reached out to the Internet and quite easily*2 managed to track this person down in a minimal number of mouse clicks.

*2 You may—or may NOT?—be surprised how easily one can find all sorts of information about someone on the Internet. Especially when, oh, say, someone has been trained in this….

At this point, my intent in contacting him was just a simple “Hi, and how are you doing?”.

So I sent this person an email.*3

*3 I know—I could have picked up the telephone. But I actually felt in this instance email was the correct method of contact. There is not that strange “Umm…” in the conversation. And it leaves the ball in his court to choose to respond or not.

It’s been 17 years since I graduated from High School. That’s 1991 for those of you attempting to do the math. One of the few persons who served as role models to me during those times was my track coach. He was probably the most positive influence on my life aside from my Scoutmaster.

Me and my High School track coach. What’s with my uniform?

Call me cynical but I don’t expect to receive a reply from him.

The reason I’m cynical is because of where I went to school versus my sexual orientation. I went to a small, private, Church of Christ-run school. I’m fairly certain word traveled quickly once I outed myself to some former High School friends—most of whom are still associated with the school in one fashion or another.

I don’t know that he’d hold this against me as a person, as he didn’t seem like this when I was a young, impressionable student. But times—and people—change. Just like I did. I know at this moment, this is just me allowing a “reverse” stereotype to affect my feelings about this matter.

Has anyone else done something like this? And if so, how did it go?

Until next time...

15 thoughts on “Pinging my past…

  1. Good luck and I hope he responds to your e-mail. I have contacted a few people through Classmates with positive responses. Keep us updated if he responds back.

  2. Well, I’ve had that happen numerous times, especially since I’ve gotten on Facebook & Myspace. Myspace & Facebook helped me reconnect with my friends that I hadn’t talked to since I came out & I don’t think they mind it too much anymore (I still think they talk behind my back, but that’s the South.)

    I grew up Church of Christ as well and when I came out, it didn’t go good at all. But within the past couple of years, people have started to talking and wanting to hang out again. I guess it just took them a while to get their brains around it. I actually went back to my old church last night and it was just like I had never left. It was actually very nice.

  3. I haven’t contacted, but I HAVE looked for one of my old swim coaches. He was the ONE coach who made me want to give everything I had in the pool. And out of (as he was hot!). But honestly it was back when I was in the 10 -13 age… and he believed in me and I completely loved him for that, as nobody else ever had.

  4. I recently found a few people on FB that I used to hang out with before I came out in college. One was wary but accepting, the other was pretty much the bitch I thought she’d be.

  5. I went to a small private Christian school too. One classmate with whom I keep in contact knows I came out and I am certain it spread like wild fire from her lips. The reason being one of my former teachers would always keep tabs on me through my classmate, but no longer asks about me. I find it amazing just how many of my classmates, which were only 45 are still involved with this school after 22 years.

  6. Please report back as to whether he answers your email. I agree, though, that email is the way to do stuff like this. It’s the recipient’s decision to answer or not.

  7. @Urspo:
    I guess a lot of us are living in the past… or are at least curious what happened to those few people who touched our lives.

    So far, no response. As eager as I am to get one, I’m that much more sure there won’t be one. That’s just how I think.

    Something that only happened while you were dreaming, eh? Or maybe someone else’s dream is your high school experience?

    Aside from the time after your coming out, it sounds like people have started to get their heads on straight. I guess it takes some people a while to realize you’re the same person you were before….

    If you found him, what would you do?

    I find it amazing that most of us (probably everyone) looks for those contacts in the “way-back”. I wonder how many people have “found” us, but don’t contact us because of how we’ve changed….

    I had 19 that graduated in my class–I think at least half of them are still involved with that school or a sister school. I often wonder if it’s because it’s in their comfort zone that they never stepped out of?

    So far, no answer. I actually included my phone number as well. We’ll see what happens…

  8. Be careful what you ask for. You may get it.

    It has been my experience that sometimes old friendships rekindle just fine after decades-long separations. Other times, there’s just too many disparate life experiences to bridge the years. I think I’ve finally come to understand tha phrase, “But we’ll always have Paris.”

  9. I wasn’t concerned with your uniform as much as I am with your hair back then. 🙂

    I’ve had this happen to me numerous time it seems. People that I haven’t been in contact for years, pop into my head. When it happens frequently, I believe it’s “someone” trying to tell me something, that I need to reach out to them and make contact. Every single time I’ve done this, I swear the person had been thinking about me as well and was hoping to reconnect.

    Most reconnections turned out great, others were strained. Not because of the fact that they didn’t agree with my sexuality due to their Christian upbringing (Assembly of God here), but so much time had passed that it was just difficult to pick up where we left off. It took a while. Phone conversations were awkward and full of silences or small talk.

    I found a long lost friend from the early 90’s a month or so agi. It turned out bad. He hadn’t grown up or changed for the good. Still a life filled with drama and he tried to suck me back into it again. Another friend I found again, lives here in Dallas and it was like we had never lost contact. We still keep in touch. The most recent friend I wrote about. Our conversation was strained. He had become a Christian since the days of us hanging out and although I didn’t feel judgement, it was awkward. Then i received an email later where he opened up, told me he loved me and couldn’t wait to see me during Christmas.

    You took the chance. Good for you. I hope things work out where you can at least open a line of communication again.

    Um, sorry for the really long comment.

  10. Good luck. I hope you hear from him, even if it’s for closure’s sake.

    Two weeks ago I got an email from someone I’d not heard from in 6+ years. I’d gone to college and also worked with this guy. Back in the mid 90’s I was partnered, he had a girlfriend, but we were great friends. We reconnected in the early 2000’s – long enough to have one night together because he was “curious.” Yeah, “curious” to be bottom boy and blame it on alcohol, like a bad porn. He wrote me, out of the blue, to let me know he was married and had two kids.

    I’m betting if we lived closer he’d have another moment of being “curious.” I’m hardly without guilt here – I’d do him again in a heartbeat.

    These guys that cling to labels and social expectations make me sad, make me crazy, and make me want to run screaming from the room, and all the above.

    K – sorry for the novel.

  11. I did the same thing with one of my favorite teachers, Miss Mitchell – who was my music teacher in grade school, and part-time in high school. She had a great influence on my appreciation for music and the performing arts. Unfortunately, by the time I had decided to see how she was doing, she had passed away. She was a cool lady.

    I hope you connect with your old coach – it would be nice to see his perspective on you now.

    And 1991? Now I feel old.

  12. You’re braver than I! When someone like that pops into my head (and it does happen on occasion), I tend to just think about something else … like cookies.

  13. @Alexander:
    How odd. I sent the email last week, and this week I have two former classmates contact me.

    I have to say I’m not sure what I hoped to get out of it, as I know there is now an ocean of time and space between us. Maybe part of being human is we just remember those from our past and not attempt to bridge that gap. I don’t know.

    I had no hair sense then (or now). I actually had a mullet—which you luckily can’t see in that picture—according to the Husbear.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve still not heard anything back, but I did have two former classmates contact me this week. Kind of cosmically ironic, don’t ya think?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with this, and more! And it sounds like you might have a few more extremely interesting stories than I do.

    Sorry to hear she had already passed away before you could make contact. That’s always a heartbreaker to have happen.

    And “old” is a relative term… 😉

    @Dr. Sparky:
    I don’t know about braver. I think the cookies would have been easier on me.

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