Tonight is my 10 year high school reunion.
I’ve come a long way since high school. In fact, if you haven’t talked to me since, you might not recognize me. And the reason for that has nothing to do with the way that I look. I look pretty much the same, less acne, longer hair. Nope, I am different on the inside.
In high school I tried to be like the other girls: tall, skinny, blonde, Republican (mmmmkay, maybe not the Republican part). I wanted to like what I thought they liked: clothes, popularity, things. It didn’t work out so well, especially the tall, blonde part 😉
I was trying to be someone I wasn’t but I didn’t know it at the time. In high school you just want to fit in; you don’t want to be teased. You don’t digress from the norm or you are an outcast, [gasp] god forbid!
Through my experiences since high school I’ve embraced the journey to self-discovery, change and uniqueness.
Now I actually feel my feelings and take time to recognize where they are coming from before I respond, instead of react. I’ve realized that on the inside we’re really all the same; we want the same things. I’ve realized it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you know, it’s the choices we make, the people we surround ourselves with and values we live in accordance with that matter. I don’t want to live in a bubble; I want to experience new things. I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m a different person. Now, I’m me.
I’m not saying the other people from my high school may not feel the same way now, they certainly may. My problem is that whenever I’m around most of the people that I grew up with (there are a few exceptions) I revert back to pretending I’m something that I’m not. Tonight, my only goal is to be authentic.
I wore red nail polish for the first time in my life last year for my very first half marathon. I didn’t wear it because I was scared, nervous or intimidated. I wore it because it reminded me of my newly acquired strength and determination. Every time I looked down as I ran I had a reminder of how far I’d come; I could see my flare and I knew I could finish. And I did.
And so again tonight, for the second time in my life I’m wearing red nail polish.