Today I am going to my 50th class reunion. When I think of all I did as a teenager to fit in, it makes me tired and a little sad. If the cool girls were wearing green eye shadow, I wore it. If the latest Beatle song was popular, I sang it. If everyone in class loved the Red Socks, I claimed to love them too. Pretty hilarious since I didn’t know squat about baseball and still don’t.
It mattered so desperately to fit in, to be a welcome part of the crowd. Every morning before school I put on the clothes I’d picked out the night before, thinking that they were just the thing. But as soon as I put them on, I would say to myself “loser!” My hair had to be just right, just enough makeup on to look good, not slutty. From the right shoes to the right earrings, every day was a struggle to fit in.
As a teen, I felt desperately un-cool. I laughed at the wrong things, I was too passionate about other things no one cared about, and I wanted so badly to fit in. I wanted the popular boys to like me, and to be as cool as the really popular girls. But at that stage of my life, I was clumsy and awkward. Due to all the books I read, I spoke like some weird adult girl.
But all that was years ago. Today I look forward to seeing so many people I went to school with. Everyone has a story, everyone has a life that couldn’t be imagined when we were all in school together. And now, fifty years later, we be together and remember (or forget) who we were then and who we are now. Age and loss will have changed us. Wisdom, strength and experience will have shaped us to be the people we are now. We will have become who we were meant to be.
And all that old stuff that used to matter? It doesn’t mean squat now. We are all older, more experienced, a little wiser and with a much different perspective in life. Most of us will have grandchildren and all of us will have stories to tell. We can now look back and laugh.
And hopefully, we will look ahead and be happy with what we see and who we truly are.