It's something about a 40th reunion that will do it to you. Here you are standing next to people your own age, people who have experienced so many of the same things. They went to the same school, grew up in the same town. Their lives, like yours, have had twists and turns, ups and down. And here they stand, like you, staring back with 5 year old eyes.
We don't really change all that much inside. We remain who we were when we were born. Sometimes, along the way to maturity, we lose sight of who that is... it is all a journey back round to where we belong.
As people we have the same childish enthusiasm, fears, optimism, hopes, dreams, insecurities and needs. We needs to be heard and seen. We need to be loved and accepted. We need to know we make a difference - that we matter. These needs don't ever go away, they just are granted over time, or we are left searching.
At the reunion, I sometimes had a hard time recognizing people. Their hair was grey or gone, or dyed or shorter or longer. Their bodies were shorter or wider or smaller. Some faces were wrinkled, some pulled tighter than they were when they were 16. But when I would look in their eyes, I could see the person I remembered from so long ago - probably much better than I could see them back then. That is one thing that time should give you. It should give you enough self acceptance that you can be more open to others. Then you realize we really are fundamentally the same in one important way, we are human beings. No one is above you or below you if you accept this notion.
This reunion was a great reminder of how far we have come. Be have come back round. Back round to being our genuine selves. The people we were born to be.