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What Does ‘Authenticity’ Look Like at a 30-Year High School Reunion?

July 16, 2015

My 30-year high school reunion is in two days. That’s right. 30 years. Whew. How did I get here?

 

And that IS the question. How did I get to be where and who I am? What is the story I’m willing to tell to people I used to know? What’s the story of my fellow classmates?

 

To be honest, I’ve been angsting about this reunion. Insecurities I thought I’d long put to bed have reared their ugly heads like Hydra and been clobbering me since I arrived back in my hometown, Ann Arbor.

 

Do I have the right clothes to wear? (Really?! I’m 48 and still worried about what clothes I’m going to wear? Ugh.)

 

What will everyone say when they see I’ve gained 40 pounds? (Double ugh.)

 

What will they think about the fact that I am still single and have no children? Will I be funny or will I be self-deprecating and insecure, enamored by others’ clothes, hair, weight, success, wealth, etc.? (Ugh, ugh and ugh.)

 

On and on the thoughts go. Endless bludgeoning by my very own customized Hydra, and I realize that if it weren’t my high school reunion, it’d be something else I’d be beating myself up with.

 

I know better. I’ve grown more than this. (Wasn’t all that therapy worth something?) There is more to me than all these insecurities. I was reminded of that yesterday when my friend’s 10-year-old daughter took my hand and led me through the Ann Arbor Art Fair. She didn’t care that I have gray streaks in my hair and that my arms are fat.

 

And so, I pause, look out the window at the morning sunlight coming through the trees and breathe. Slowly.

 

For me the question I ask myself is: How do I want to show up?

 

The answer comes quickly: As myself. Genuine. I’d like to let go of all the external crap and re-connect with people. I’m curious what my classmates have been up to, what their stories are, how they got here. After 30 years, Life has happened to all of us.

 

I actually get a little misty-eyed. I know I’m being all touchy-feely and un-cool. But that’s who I am, as uncomfortable and vulnerable as it makes me. Here I am.

 

My fellow Huron High Class of ’85, I look forward to seeing you on Saturday. 

My 30-year high school reunion is in two days. That’s right. 30 years. Whew. How did I get here?

 

And that IS the question. How did I get to be where and who I am? What is the story I’m willing to tell to people I used to know? What’s the story of my fellow classmates?

 

To be honest, I’ve been angsting about this reunion. Insecurities I thought I’d long put to bed have reared their ugly heads like Hydra and been clobbering me since I arrived back in my hometown, Ann Arbor.

 

Do I have the right clothes to wear? (Really?! I’m 48 and still worried about what clothes I’m going to wear? Ugh.)

 

What will everyone say when they see I’ve gained 40 pounds? (Double ugh.)

 

What will they think about the fact that I am still single and have no children? Will I be funny or will I be self-deprecating and insecure, enamored by others’ clothes, hair, weight, success, wealth, etc.? (Ugh, ugh and ugh.)

 

On and on the thoughts go. Endless bludgeoning by my very own customized Hydra, and I realize that if it weren’t my high school reunion, it’d be something else I’d be beating myself up with.

 

I know better. I’ve grown more than this. (Wasn’t all that therapy worth something?) There is more to me than all these insecurities. I was reminded of that yesterday when my friend’s 10-year-old daughter took my hand and led me through the Ann Arbor Art Fair. She didn’t care that I have gray streaks in my hair and that my arms are fat.

 

And so, I pause, look out the window at the morning sunlight coming through the trees and breathe. Slowly.

 

For me the question I ask myself is: How do I want to show up?

 

The answer comes quickly: As myself. Genuine. I’d like to let go of all the external crap and re-connect with people. I’m curious what my classmates have been up to, what their stories are, how they got here. After 30 years, Life has happened to all of us.

 

I actually get a little misty-eyed. I know I’m being all touchy-feely and un-cool. But that’s who I am, as uncomfortable and vulnerable as it makes me. Here I am.

 

My fellow Huron High Class of ’85, I look forward to seeing you on Saturday. 

 

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