Sunday, May 9, 2010

Feeling 16: What I Learned From My High School Reunion.

*Photo of iconic TV show: "The Facts Of Life"

A few months ago, I received an invitation to attend my 20th (yikes!) high-school reunion. I loved high school: I had been President of this and then President of that & I had simply adored the camaderie of being in an all-girls school. Still, when I read the invitation, I got a bit of “performance anxiety”.

Sure, I head my own company but how does that stack up next to a successful marriage & children? The girls I went to school with were/are incredibly smart & driven. And I knew, through the school’s newspaper, that many of them had thriving & accomplished careers: teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, engineers.

I walked into my historic school where I once rocked plaid skirts & penny loafers, knowing the reunion would partly resemble holiday family gatherings where I’m often asked: “Do you have kids?”, “Are you working on it”, blah, blah, blah. Truth be told, these are at my age fair questions. The answers, however, were not Emily Post-like: “I want kids, but I don’t feel ready to have any just yet”, “When it was time to commit, I had to run to a meeting”, “It hasn’t happened yet because my priorities are all wrong”.

I don’t regret my path: it’s unique & I made it my own, but my timing does perhaps need some tuning. While I work on that, I came up with a list of advice I wish my 36-year old self could tell my 16-year old self:

• Moisturize & hydrate your face, everyday. You won’t regret it.

• Sure, you have braces & Brejnev-like eyebrows but peaking at 16 makes for a long way down. Eventually, you’ll come into your looks & you’ll accept them.

• Study, study, study.

• Be thankful your mom gave you curfews and was strick with you. It gave you discipline that will come-in handy.

• Take that Latin class. That too, will come-in handy.

• Never mind that people around you don’t understand your fascination with Oprah. One day, they will.

• “Dirty Dancing” is NOT the greatest movie ever made. Get over it.

• You like George Michael’s first solo album but you will love, love, love his second (Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1).

• Never mind that your friends have so much more experience with boys than you do. You have plenty of time to learn and besides, if you know everything now, falling in love when you’re older won’t be as much fun.

• Oddly enough, the boy you now love will be the Love of your life.

• Lipstick, hairstyles & pencil skirts that look so good on your White girlfriends DO NOT look good on you. Start reading Essence magazine. Now.

• The friends you’ve made in high school will become phenomenal women. Learn from them, take some of their advices & be a good friend.


Marie said...

Do you mind telling your 16 year old self to call my sixteen year old self and tell her to stop wearing white lipstick and her fater's shirts?

Great insight!

Anonymous said...

Tu peux aussi lui dire que Pierre Menard n'est pas le plus beau mec sur la face de la terre. HAHAHAHA!!!

Love it