My high school reunion is coming up this month. There are a handful of people I’d really like to see, plus more whose posts on facebook have me curious. They seem real, fulfilled, down-to-earth. They’ve either learned a lot in 25 years, like I feel I have, or I didn’t really know them in high school. It must be both.

I told my friend about this event. I’m flying back to my hometown and the reunion is on the first weekend. My friend is an expert hairdresser. She has decided that I am going to have shiny, silky hair, with fantastic highlights and a great haircut.

I love the pampering. I enjoy hanging out with my friend, who I’ve known for less than a year, since we moved to our new house in New Jersey. I love that she loves her profession. And she’s so good at it.

So does this mean I’m primping for this reunion, even if my hair looks “natural” when I attend?

I made a mistake at the last reunion. I didn’t do anything with my hair. Instead I bought a new two piece top in a color I never wore. I wanted something different and very current.

I got it.

But I didn’t feel myself the whole night and I believe it showed in my conversation. I felt as nervous as a teenager again.

What is it about a class reunion that makes us crazy? We want to cover the grey, do away with the wrinkles and love handles, and present the most perfect version of ourselves we have at the moment. Why? Precisely because we’ve only seen them twice since we were 17. We want the comment, “she hasn’t aged a bit,” even though 25 years of amazing wisdom and learning has been tacked on to our bodies and minds since then.

So if I really am 25 years wiser, why can’t I look 25 years older?

This time I’m determined to have as much fun, with as much confidence as I have in my normal life. Even though I’m sinking back into a room full of people I’ve seen twice since I was barely 17, I’m determined to be “me,” comfortable, with all the wisdom and smart decisions that have brought me to the life I live today.

I find it ironic: I shouldn’t have to take extra effort to plan how I look if I’m confident in my current life, should I?

One day I’ll have to come to terms with my aging body, but I’m not going to do it this month. At my reunion I want to look young. I just don’t want the shy, awkward feelings and flat attempts at conversations that went along with it.

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