Ever since I received my invitation to our high school's 35th reunion, I have been looking back in time and wondering where my friends-of-the-past may be in their lives right now.
I joined classmates.com and was delighted to find a few names that I used to call 'friend'. I wrote a 'public note' to one friend. I emailed another. I read the stories of other familiar names and left my name in their guestbook.
Yesterday, one of those friends replied to my email. We corresponded back and forth throughout the day. Our electronic connection reinforced my idea that 'now' was a good time to walk back through those doors-of-the-past and peek through.
As my friend wrote a condensed version of her life-story-so-far, I read words that paralleled my own experiences. It was a small bit uncanny. But not really. When people talk openly and honestly with each other about life and how they have experienced it, it opens the door wide. And we can relate with another person's struggles.
I think that
I have been yearning to run into someone-from-the-old-days each and every time I have been in Mom's neighborhood (the neighborhood I grew up in) for years. I didn't know what I was searching for, but I know that I found a piece of it in the friend I corresponded with yesterday.
It is interesting to discover if the friendship that was sparked in childhood (often due to geography, school and friends-of-the-family) can be reignited years later. I have been fortunate enough to discover that it can happen.
So I mailed off my RSVP, paid my way and I will attend my reunion in the fall.
I will take my genuine self with me when I go. I am presently twenty pounds heavier than I was, when I thought that I was ten pounds over weight. Do I wish I was sporting a sleeker, more attractive body? Sure. Do I wish that I looked younger than that reflection in the mirror? You bet. But this is the 'me' that I have grown up to be.
I will pack my imperfections and wear them proudly on my sleeve. I am who I am, and I hope to meet up with others who are feeling okay about where they are and what life has taught them as well.
Will I turn into an insecure teenager, fretting about hair, shoes and what to wear the day before the event? Quite likely. But thanks to what-life-has-taught-me, I will know that the minute I sit down and start talking with someone ... outer appearances won't matter. Not if I am having one of those 'knee shaking' conversations...
When I heard that one of my friends-of-the-past is now a doctor, I had a flash of insecurity (... all that I have done is raise three children and run a daycare ...). But I stopped that scene before it got any further. Underneath the badges of honor that many have worked for and have come at a price ... is a person. A real, live, vulnerable person.
My badge of honor is my life. My life-as-I-know-it. And that is enough ...