I know someone who is famous.
He is a musician, guitarist, singer…and I went to high school with him.
Actually, I met him in grade 6 at elementary school shortly after I first arrived in Canada. He, and a teacher, were the only two people at that school who spoke German, and were able to help me get by a bit.
(Some of you long term readers of this blog know that I moved to Canada from Switzerland as a child and had to learn English when I got here. I was 11 and placed in grade 6 on arrival.)
I don’t remember much about elementary school, but I do remember that he was the only kid who ended up at the same high school as me. All of our classmates went to another high school.
In high school, I didn’t really socialize much with him. I did see him regularly though, in my German and Fine Art classes. After we both graduated, I kind of lost track of him, as I did of most people I knew then.
Fast forward to many years later. I saw him pop up somewhere in social media which triggered some memories about our school days. Curiosity got the better of me, so I looked him up and lo, there he was all over the web, on various stages, performing, playing guitar, singing.
I researched him a little and discovered that he received his first guitar at age 8, which meant he was already playing music actively even before I met him in grade 6.
Well he made a career out of it. A successful one at that! He’s released many albums, was nominated for a Juno award (here in Canada) in 2007, has a list of awards and mentions under his belt and just recently I heard one of his songs play in the background of a Mexican cooking show. Ha!
He is also a certified yoga instructor.
For years, I didn’t do anything with this knowledge. But then, one day, as he popped up again in my Instragram feed, I suddenly had a memory about an occurrence in one of our art classes.
I took a trip down memory lane and dug a little deeper. Despite having blocked most of my high school time out of my gray matter, I still seem to remember certain parts about art class.
That one event in grade 11 suddenly became much more vivid in my mind.
I started to ponder: should I reach out to him and ask him about it? See if he can shed some light and fill in the blanks of my own memory, or perhaps supplement it?
In the end, I decided to try and connect with him in such a way that would minimize an actual response. Introverts will understand this – nothing freaks me out more than socializing (but I’m usually fine when I’m actually doing the socializing).
I justified reasons why I should contact him but not rely on a response:
- he’s famous, therefore he probably has a publicist managing his social media and won’t actually see my message
- if he does see my message he’s probably not interested in remembering inconsequential events from high school with someone like me
- he probably doesn’t remember me, anyway
I somehow managed to talk myself into reaching out anyway. (It’s complicated being me…)
I took all the internal dialogue and decided that a DM in Instagram is a relatively safe way to make contact with someone. Besides, I’m much better with the written, typed word than the spoken one.
So in late August, I did it. I sent him a DM and then turned off my phone and walked away from it.
To be continued…