A couple of nights ago I attended the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. I thought I knew what to expect because we get together every five years, and especially because I’d spent considerable time creating the memory book for this half-century reunion. Folks sent me their biographies; they included photos of themselves and their families, their hobbies and their interests. They listed where they’ve lived, where they’ve traveled, their most vivid high school memories, and what they hope their futures hold. After editing each page and proofreading it (five times!), I expected the evening to be predictable.
What I didn’t expect was to find each and every one of us so comfortable in our own skins. Gone was the posturing of earlier reunions. Gone were the “behind the scenes” critiques of who had let him/herself go. None of us seemed to worry about holding in our bellies or lifting up “the girls.” Each of us seemed (finally!) to have made friends with our younger selves. Now, two years shy of 70, we greeted each other with the sincere warmth and affection of old friends who have a lot in common.
There’s a great deal to be said about youth, but even more to be said about peacefully and comfortably leaving it behind. I left the party convinced that the best is yet to come.