I have a class reunion coming up at the end of this week and while I’m not necessarily freaked out by that, I would be lying if I said I had no apprehensions. I think the worst thing to hear at your 30 year reunion is “you haven’t changed a bit.” Really? I certainly hope I’ve changed! Some things are not so great like the fairly deep wrinkles around my mouth and eyes but I like to think that those are from having lots of reasons to laugh and smile the past several decades.
My hairstyle has certainly changed for the better! I remember washing, drying, setting in hot rollers, using a curling iron and tons of hairspray every day to get a “Farrah”hair do with those flowing curls and bounce only to have it flat to my head by the time I got to school. Even worse- my mom attempting home perms to give my hair some curl or body. There are a few yearbook pictures that make me cringe! You won’t find any gray in my hair but that’s because my stylist can work miracles with chemicals and dye. I have not given in to the gray is beautiful mantra yet, but I might soon! (maybe in another 10 years…) I also wear glasses most of the time now. I have been fighting the fact that my once perfect eyesight is gone and have decided that glasses are a sign of wisdom. Or maybe I am just frustrated with not being able to read anything other than large print!
Best of all, my attitude has changed. I went to a small school and grew up in a small town so it was somewhat difficult to be an individual. You didn’t want to be too “different” from everyone else or you would be considered an oddball and shunned. We were basically labeled as jocks, music geeks, nerds, smart kids, or dumb kids and you conformed to fit the label you were given. There were sub species involved in these groups, but this was pretty much it. It seemed like either you were popular or not and for some reason that was a big deal for me. How did one get in a certain group? Was it looks? Family? Social status? I don’t know the answer- but what was important then certainly isn’t important now. Many of us have reacqauinted on Facebook and I am amazed at how much I have in common with those I didn’t necessarily hang out with in high school. It’s been fun to discover the people we have become.
I once had a manager who was helping me through a rough patch at work and said “You have two strikes against you in this business. You’re young and you’re female. Remember-you WILL get older.” I know that seems odd, but I think back on his words and they really make sense. While aging has many issues ( mostly dealing with my own vanity), it brings wisdom and self-confidence that isn’t there when you are young. I also learned that being female is a great advantage in the world if you don’t think of it as a handicap or an excuse.
Take a look in the mirror, ignore those extra pounds and wrinkles and see who you really are, that’s all that matters.
I am looking forward to seeing everyone and telling them how much they HAVE changed since high school. It’s a compliment!