If I say ‘SCHOOL REUNION’ to you what’s your immediate reaction?:
“No thanks!” (Emphatically)
“Why not? It could be fun.” (Nervously)
“Count me in!” (Confidently)
I don’t know about you, but the topic of reunions isn’t always an easy one for we humans. More often that not it prompts heaps of self-judgment as we look at others in the hope of understanding how we ourselves are doing and how ‘successful’ we are shaping up to be.
The topic has come back around for me and tested my mettle in recent weeks....
I knew it was only a matter of time because it’s a date that marks an anniversary of sorts for me. But still, to see the 15-year school reunion pop up in my Facebook feed made me feel a bit weird, and in complete honesty, made my blood run cold. Yep, shivers. I even put my mug of Earl Grey tea down.
It’s never been a secret that it was my 10 year school reunion, 5 years ago, that triggered my compare & despair paralysis. It was following that day of laughter, catching up, prosecco swilling and air kissing that there followed one of the darkest periods of my life where a weird and unexpected addiction to comparison sent me in a tailspin that would insidiously obliterate my self-esteem. Shudder.
You can read the full and raw gore here, but **spoiler alert** losing your house and being too poor for a Primark sock splurge does not make the most aspirational anecdote to swap at a reunion of your peers… looking stunning in their red bottomed shoes, tans from the Maldives and high powered jobs.
It still feels visceral to think back to that time post reunion but it also feels very much something of the past. Even though it was only a few years ago comparison has switched from being my most negative obsession to be my greatest teacher.
I can get myself, and my clients, out of comparison in minutes now whereas I could sometimes lose myself in it for weeks. I’ve come a LONG way, baby, and I’d like to choose to honour that even if the reunion invite first acted as a trigger.
Having said that, the invitation to the aforementioned 15-year school reunion has prompted the question as to whether I go or not?
Sleepless nights deciding? Not quite.
Over thinking it, maybe? A touch.
Well, this time the decision has been made for me as I have a diary commitment (my book tour)
BUT it leaves me wondering, could I handle the reunion based on what I know now about the pitfalls of comparison? Would it feel weird and exposing knowing all those people know how I did NOT fair well in the previous aftermath? I would definitely feel a bit vulnerable for sure and I can own that.
But over all, I’d like to think the answer is ‘yes’, that if I was available, I would attend and that I’d hold my head high.
That I’d just be myself.
Safe in my own skin.
Loving and non-judgey towards others.
Free from paranoia and the slippery slope of my limiting beliefs.
Thankfully I know now my self worth has nothing to do with whether I have red bottomed shoes or not. And besides, I’ve come to know I’m more of a high tops girl.
What about you though - would you attend your reunion? What would you say are the pros and cons?
Love Lucy xo