You might think, upon hearing I survived 3 days of over 90 degree temperatures running around with a 2-year-old in a house without air conditioning, that I can handle anything. And you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong. Despite my negative tendencies and complaining and outward appearance of weakness, I’m a pretty good handler. So you may wonder why I couldn’t handle my 10 year high school reunion.
It’s not that I couldn’t handle it. I wasn’t afraid that seeing all those people would make me wish I had their lives. I don’t want to be a bartender with 3 kids. I don’t want to own a hair salon. I don’t even want to be an engaged doctor. I want my life, and I want to embrace it without feeling like maybe if I’d just done this or not done that or tried this or avoided that, then I’d be at a place right now that makes me comfortable.
And for the most part, I do embrace it. I am comfortable with the fact that my life is still sort of up in the air as I approach 30. I’m comfortable admitting that, and I’m comfortable believing that it doesn’t mean I’m somehow broken, or that I’ve failed as a human. But this comfort is still in a fragile state because it’s fairly new, and I don’t want to do anything to risk shattering it.
Not to make light of addiction, but being a recovering pessimist is like being an alcoholic: it’s a lifelong struggle to stay clean, and it’s much easier to do when the temptation isn’t staring you in the face, coming up to you at your reunion, and saying, “Hi! I was a cheerleader and the most popular girl in school and now I’m happily married and completely content and guess what, I’m still gorgeous!”
Because even though it would be nice if the popular kids showed up as miserable adult losers like they do in movies, I know they wouldn’t. I’ve already seen them on Facebook.