Being the Authentic You

I plan on going to my 50th class reunion this coming June. It’s hard to believe that it has been so long since we graduated in 1969. I have every one of my yearbooks from high school, and enjoy looking through them from time to time. We all looked so young and full of hope.

Now that we all are in our sixties, most with children and grandchildren, it will be interesting to see everyone. I always wonder if anyone is getting botox or skin treatments or crash diets to look more like the teenagers we once were, or if most are just comfortable in their own skin as it now is?

I have a practice that I do each time I look in my mirror. I always smile at my reflection and say, “hello, gorgeous!” It puts a positive spin on the day. (Try it. you’ll be surprised at how much better you will come to feel about yourself.) I am no longer young, and I have the wrinkles and silver streaks in my hair to prove it. I certainly weigh more than I used to, and there’s no denying that I don’t look as I did in high school. But that’s just age and time. The “hello, gorgeous” is for me to keep remembering that I am still me. Despite what age and time does, I still feel pretty.

But really; so what? How creepy would it be at this time to look just as we did in high school? It’s not like we are all famous celebrities who have the time and the cash to get complete makeovers by the best plastic surgeons.

FYI, here’s my own take on that: you get a face lift, and your neck looks terrible. You get your neck done, and your boobs look like hell. You get them done, and then it’s time for a tummy tuck and a butt lift. That done, what about varicose veins, knobby knees and bunions? There’s just no end to it.

Gilda Radnor (famously of the original Saturday Night Live cast) said it best when asked if she would rather be beautiful or funny. She replied, “funny, definitely. Beautiful is way too hard!” I couldn’t agree more. I plan on going to that reunion as my authentic, non-botoxed self. Anyone from my class is free to laugh their heads off at how I look now.

My own take-away on this is that age, wisdom, loss, hardship and love help to make us who we are. It’s our authentic self that really matters.





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