Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ten Years Later

I graduated from high school in 2000.  Because of this, I've spent 2010 thinking vague and fleeting but none the less stressed-out thoughts about my 10 year high school reunion.  In January, I thought, 'I've got months to upgrade my life, including loosing 20 pounds and finding a boyfriend and becoming rich and famous and successful.'  In May, I thought, 'I'm a runner now, surely I'll be beautiful and fit by the end of summer and everybody from high school will be amazed by how amazing I am.'  In July, I thought, 'Good Lord, the reunion is less than a month away! I haven't lost 20 pounds or found a boyfriend; I haven't become rich or famous; I'm not going!'  In August, I realized that all of my stress and panic was silly, and the only thing keeping me from a 90s-music-filled evening of adventure was my own insecurity.  I decided that I'm too womanly to let the small, ugly voice in the back of my head control me and decided to brave the reunion.

Me and my great friend, Al, the summer before our senior year. Based on this picture,
I'm pretty sure neither of us had a super cool reputation to maintain at the reunion.

Me and Al  now, significantly cooler, except maybe the bad lighting and hair in Al's face.

My adorable and steadfast friend, Al, and I decided that together we could relive high school for a night, as long as it was preceded by some massive retail therapy.  We dedicated a whole grueling day to shopping.  Even though Al found her dress right away, she stuck with me through Macy's and Nordstrom and the Gap and H & M and little boutique stores, until finally I found a dress that suited me perfectly!  Then, we repeated the whole process for shoes and accessories.  Despite being tired at the end of the day, I was stoked because I felt like I was going to be able to walk into my reunion with a ton of confidence.

It took a lot of patience, but I found the exact perfect dress that's grown up but still super fun.

I even found shoes and a headband that are so totally me! 
After shopping with me, Al defined my style as "Preschool Sock Hop,"
 which I thought was perfectly descriptive.

This burst of confidence melted into panic by the day of the reunion. As I got dolled up (with a serious amount of help from another friend), I felt like there were giant, steroidal butterflies in my tummy. As I drove to Al’s, I had to call another high school friend for a pep talk. I thought about telling Al I’d been in a terrible accident and wouldn’t be able to make it, but then I thought she’d probably want to come visit me in the hospital. There was really no way to get out of it, so I sucked it up and went.

The reunion turned out to be WAY less scary than I had anticipated! It was great to talk to people I haven’t seen since graduation. I loved that there were people who hadn’t aged a day, although many, like me and Al, have grown significantly more attractive in the last 10 years. My classmates are all at such different stages. Some people have kids or spouses, some have been much more career oriented, and many are still searching for their passion. It was so good for me because I’m not really where I thought I’d be 10 years ago, and seeing my peers shows me that I’m not “behind.”

Instead of focusing on how impressive my life is not, I spent the evening trying to really connect with people. I found out even the super cool and together people were nervous. Despite not thinking my life was a perfectly polished package to show off, I feel great about going to my reunion. It showed me that I’m happy with who I am, where I am, and the choices I’ve made to be here. It also reminded me of how glad I am not to be 18 anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I had the same CK t-shirt, only mine was grey! ;) Your outfit was fantastic and you and Al are Hot Mamas!!! My 10-year was totally lame...and a very long time ago. :)


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