This seems to be reunion season. College and high school classes all over the place are getting together to reminisce about old times and to nervously eye each other — with many thinking, “I don’t look that bad yet, do I?”
I know at least half a dozen people who’ve been to reunions in the last month. For some, it’s just fun, but for others it’s a time of sober reflection. When I talked with one friend today, he told me his reaction to seeing his classmates from not that long ago.
“Being there has me thinking about some things,” he said. “I looked around that night and realized these were the people who I grew up wanting to impress — and when I look at them now, I can’t figure out why I ever cared what they thought of me.”
When you were a small child, you wanted to impress your parents, maybe your siblings, maybe extended family and family friends. As you got older, the circle of people you wanted to impress changed. You wanted to impress your peers. Then you wanted to impress romantic interests. Your audience kept changing.
But at every point in your life, your choice about who to impress has said very loudly who you are.