It's an odd concept I suppose, and I wasn't really sure which blog I should post this on. Then I realized that I am so very open to the idea of reconnecting with old friends precisely because I have simplified my life, cleared the emotional clutter, and become very happy with my life and who I am.
My 20 year high school reunion is approaching. Several months ago I traded emails with an classmate I've know since I was 9, and I was somewhat excited about attending the upcoming reunion. She and I weren't close in high school, however, and over the months my interest waned. What if the reunion was a lot like Papa's 10 year reunion, where the cliques still gathered and the pretty girls and handsome boys still stole the show?
I'll admit that I didn't do a good job of keeping in touch with the young women with whom I was close my last year of high school. We tried for a year or two after high school, but then life pulled us in different directions. Honestly, I wasn't even a good friend to myself back then. I was completely immersed in my marriage (I married at 19) and in the experiences I was encountering in college. I had a crash course in growing up.
My life hasn't always been easy; in fact, I would say it isn't exactly easy now, just simple. Such is the case of the examined life. However there were years where I really struggled to figure out who I was and what I wanted from life. There are years I wish I could have back. I always had the bedrock foundation of my relationship with Papa, but internally I was lost. The corporate world sucked the life from me, and it took years to rebuild myself, to find out how to create the life I wanted.
Here I am now, and my life seems really together...and for the most part it really is. I'm still human; I get irritable, I get sad, I get scared, I get overwhelmed. Yet my life is full of wonderful things, and because of this I am more open to the world and its possibilities.
So an old friend sends an email from out of the blue, and I'm happy. I'm not ashamed of who I am or where I am in life. I realize that I don't have to be insecure. Again, I am reminded that friendships don't have to be all or nothing. I can ride the wave for awhile, and see where it goes. I find that I am genuinely interested in finding out about these women's lives. I want to know if they are happy, and if the years have been good, and even if they've been difficult has the journey been worth it? Where did they go after we all drifted apart? Where did the adventure that is life take them?
I know that not everyone will want to be found; I know that 10 years ago I would have hidden in my cave and rebuffed any attempts at reconnection. Still, there is possibility. We could catch up and drift apart again, or we could become fast friends, or we might end up somewhere in the middle, sending emails now and then.
I am reminded that my grandmother said that it is worth it to take time to cultivate friendships, and to revive them and reconnect. I see that as we get older we become less self-absorbed, more open, more able to give and more willing to receive.
I am so thankful for the friendships I have in my life right now, the women with whom I form a circle, the women that helped change my world.