I have spoken with friends from time to time, regarding who they see themselves as.  Not in a self-perception way, but who do they feel like inside.  More often than not the answer is a teenaged version of themselves.  For some, it's their fifteen year old self, or maybe even as old as early 20s'.  But for me it's about seventeen.  I do still feel at times like the 17 year old me in my head.  I have grown and changed and come a long way since then, but when push comes to shove, I retreat to that nervous and shy teenager.

I've been thinking about this lately, as my High School reunion is coming up next weekend.  I can barely believe it's been 25 years since I finished Year 12.  Where the hell did those years go?  A friend Vicky and I organised our 10 year reunion, back in the days before the internet and facebook.  We tracked people down by telephone books, by mail and email, and got people to pass on the message to anyone they kept in contact with.  We aimed for the Year 12 class, as that was hard enough work.  But this saturday includes anyone who was in our grades from year 7 - 12.

I have to admit, it has me a little anxious.  Yes, we are all in our 40s now; fat, balding, divorced, single, successful and average - I'm sure there will be people spanning all those categories.  But maybe what freaks me out most is, will I fall back into being the girl I was in high school when confronted by these people from my past?  Somehow this event is like opening a time capsule.  I'm not afraid to look back at my past, as I have a lot of fond memories.  But I guess I'm more comfortable being the person I am now.   I like who I was back then, but I can do without the crippling shyness.   I was quiet and in some ways I'd be surprised if some people even remember me.  I guess I'm nervous as I fear old social hierarchies.  How stupid is that.  I've also heard on the grapevine that someone I was really good friends with is coming.  I had a falling out with her when I was about 22 or 23.  It's so long ago I can hardly remember.  I'm curious how that one will go.

Well, there's only one way to find out.  It's funny to see how this has gotten into my head.  And it probably says a lot about me.  The 17 year old me still looms large sometimes.  But maybe the 42 year old can show her how to talk to people and smile.  How the world wont end if things don't go right, and how all the experiences I've had mean that I'm not as afraid as I used to be.  I have plenty of people who love me, and some very special friends.  I guess there are times you have to face awkward things and test yourself.

Perhaps it's a chance to chance perceptions.  Maybe I'll see how far I've come since 1987, and maybe other people will too.  Maybe we'll realise that some of the crap we hold on to doesn't matter any more.  We're all busy living our lives, doing our best, hoping for happiness and finding ourselves.  Peter said how happy he was when he turned 40, as he let go of a lot of things.  He just didn't need to worry about stuff, or hang onto the things from the past.  There has to be some perks to getting older.  Maybe on saturday I can put the lid back on the time capsule.  Maybe I'll learn to stop judging myself.  Maybe I'll show that the shy girl found her voice.  Maybe, I'll actually have a good time!  

Maybe I'll say I invented Post Its...

P.S.  I'll report back... from me and my 17 year old self


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