Tuesday, June 10, 2014


In the months leading up to my 10 year high school reunion I have...

Panicked about what outfit to wear (still haven't decided)
Logged extra hours at the gym and felt guilty about bad food choices
Worried that no one will remember me, or worse yet, have bad memories of me
Had an existential crisis about my accomplishments in life (or potential lack of)
Flip-flopped about whether or not to attend no less than five times
Confirmed that at least three of my best friends will be there so I'm not sitting alone in a corner eating french fries

One may argue that I'm a bit high-strung (I am) or that the anxiety I have experienced is unwarranted (I know). 

The idea of being old enough to attend a 10 year reunion seemed nearly impossible when I graduated, but sure enough, time continues to forge ahead. Over the years, my imagination led me to believe this would be a time for everyone to come together and finally get along, to toss aside their former teen labels and begin new friendships. In my mind it looked a lot like the final scene in The Breakfast Club sprinkled with the cast of Saved by the Bell and the unforgettable dance number from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

However, as the event draws nearer, I am becoming acutely aware that the scenario I assembled in my mind might not be real life. Not due to a different roster of characters, but because of my own insecurities. While I would never claim to have had an abnormally difficult high school career, I endured my fair share of (subjective) hardships. False rumors were spread, boyfriends broke my heart, girls poked fun at my shape, and I was in band (but I loved band). And much to the horror of my present self, I fought hard on a daily basis to earn the approval of all my peers.

To quote Angus, my favorite movie of all time:

"As for what anybody else thinks, always remember these words and live by them: screw 'em!"  

Unfortunately, I'm not always great at taking the best, and often simplest advice. I have been fixated on the opinions of others for far too long which has directly affected my ability to  experience the joy of the present, of now. Knowing this about myself, I have spent the better part of my twenties learning to be content with myself and to rely less on how everyone views me.

Once again seeing the people who knew me at my most awkward has me resorting to past fears and left me with an embarrassing desire to impress. All of a sudden I'm back in braces and wearing too much Bonne Bell bronzer (pro tip: bronzer should never be used as a replacement for foundation unless you want to look like a tan Edward Cullen in the sunlight). I have obsessed about who will attend and whether the other kids will like me. 

Growing up, my mom preached the importance of treating everyone with kindness and respect. She shared a story about being nominated a homecoming queen candidate in college (beating out the "very cute girl with huge boobs"). And while I was never the homecoming queen, the concept of being nice because you never know who is paying attention has stuck.

An equally profound piece of advice was shared by our high school principal. "Don't let high school be the best years of your life," he spoke. "Don't refer to these years as your glory days and don't let high school define your future." It was some of the most hopeful and sincere insight I had ever heard. 

While my celebrity-filled, after school special reunion fantasies may be far-fetched, I am attempting to ditch the prior judgments, grudges, and preconceived notions of others. No one is granted a lifetime or popularity or relegated to permanent nerd status. 

At 28, I don't have it all together. But I'm learning to be ok with that. With the reunion just a few weeks away, I can only hope others accept the imperfect version of myself that I have come to appreciate through the years. 

And if not, well, "screw 'em."


  1. I think you jumped into my brain to write this.. Right down to the Angus reference!!! Annnd P.S. I'll probably sit with you guys :)

    1. I had hoped I wasn't alone in my anxiety. We see each other in passing at the gym so often, but I'm excited to really catch up!

    2. Definitely!!! Looking forward to it :)

  2. Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. Glad I'm not all alone. Don't worry Linds. Your most likely doing better then some of us are these days (i.e. me). But I'm sure you'll know learn about that tomorrow when I see you and everyone else there.
    Btw this Josh Stoker, nygma619 is my username.