My high school reunion is coming up in just about one month. Am I nervous? Not really. Since high school, I've matured, become a clinical psychologist and, in fact, have become somewhat of a media go-to person. I've changed. I'm not quite as quiet anymore. I'm not quite as private anymore. Most importantly, I'm quite comfortable in my own skin.
Well, maybe I'm lying to myself just a bit. It's been over 30 years since I've seen these now middle-aged adults who were teens back then. I am a little nervous, and I'll tell you why: I will see people at this reunion who weren't always that kind to me when I was a young teenager. I remember being excluded by a popular teen from a get-together that I really wanted to go to and feeling humiliated. How do I act toward this now adult who made me want to sink into an abyss back then? I guess I'll act like the mature adult I am now and behave graciously. How about the woman who I will see at the reunion who ignored me in high school after having pointed out my early development to all the girls in my 4th grade class? Do I smile sweetly at her even though she made me more self-conscious than I already was? I think the answer is yes. We were young then and we didn't really understand the impact of our behavior on others.
That brings me to yet another question. This is a little embarrassing, but the boys always seemed to like me. I had an easy way with boys and was comfortable with them. When I see these men with their wives, will that be awkward? I guess it shouldn't be because we are different people now with different desires, feelings and partners... right?
So, at this reunion I will get to revisit a bit of my teen years. I will get to see the now-adults who I liked and wasn't so crazy about in high school. We will look each other over, take stock of how the years have been to us and hopefully have some laughs and fun as we reconnect decades later.
Oh, how I would love to tell the women who made me miserable about the impact that they had on me when we were teens. I have, however, made a commitment to let this all go. And, I hope that they will let things go if I caused them any distress in high school. I was young and like them, was just trying to get through the day.
See you in a month. In the meantime, I will be looking at your Facebook pages so I can find out what you're interested in and so that I can have the heads-up on what has been going on in your life. You see, we didn't have electronic technology back then but we do now. Now, I will know about your marital status, job, how you've aged and various other details before we see each other again. You see, over three decades is just too much to catch up on in one evening. I'll also be preparing my outfit so you see me at my best. Until then...