Identity, Authenticity and a 20th High School Class Reunion


My 20th high school class reunion is quickly approaching. The countdown is most definitely on.

There’s not much you can do to prepare for a class reunion, but I’ve prepared for the day as best as I can. I sent in my $45/couple fee, RSVP’d on the Facebook event page, and engaged classmates in conversation about who’s bringing a spouse to the reunion and who’s not. I bought an outfit I hope I’ll feel comfortable and beautiful in for the evening’s events, and we arranged a place to stay overnight.

So now I sit in wonder, waiting to see who will be there and who won’t, who I’ll connect with as an adult, and who I won’t. Questions of identity beg to be answered. Who was I then? And who am I now? Am I any different? Or am I really just the same? Will I be stuck in the box of who I was? Or will I be embraced for the person I am today? Will I be comfortable in my all grown-up adult skin, or will I tuck some of that away for the day? I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s wondered and questioned as the big day approaches.

As I look at the picture of our graduating class of 1994, I can’t help but notice one thing. There are invisible lines dividing the class into circles of friends. Our class was small, most definitely. So we knew everyone and everyone was cordial to one another for the most part. But still, I know who was friends and who wasn’t, who hung together and who didn’t. For the most part, it’s all right there in that picture.

In high school, our identities were largely wrapped up in our friendships, social status, and all the things we did or didn’t do to keep ourselves busy when we weren’t in school.

In adulthood, our identities are much more rich. Our lives aren’t centered around whether we’re the cool kid or jock, the wallflower or fringe folk, the academic or party animal anymore. Our lives are, hopefully, grounded in the authenticity of who we’ve discovered ourselves to be over the course of 20 years living as full-fledged adults.

With that in mind, my hopes for this 20th high school reunion are high.

I’m hoping those invisible lines will be erased, division and discomfort eradicated. All that comparing, contrasting, and jockeying for position? Forget about it. A 20-year high school reunion is the perfect place to let down guards, crumble walls, heal hurts and erase all the bad memories that remain. My biggest wish is that we’ll remember the days of the past with fondness, embrace each other for who we are now, and discover what bonds us together today.

I’m excited to see the real you, whoever you are, now. The authentic you is the best you. So forget putting on face, and step confidently into who you are for the whole night long. We need you to be you.

As for me, I’ll do my best to hold up my end of the bargain. You’ll find me slowly sipping on a glass of wine, quietly connecting with you and you, whoever you are.

And if all goes well, we’ll have a ton of fun.


  1. Tara N. says:

    Love it!

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