Thursday, March 11, 2010
When the dust finally settles and you look around, frequently things look different. Sometimes it takes many years for the dust to settle sufficiently to allow a new view. This realization comes to me after recently getting back in touch with a number of classmates from high school. It’s been over 30 years and I’m so glad to be in contact with these women from my past. Mostly I didn’t run in the same circles as them, but we did have classes together over the years and we were aware of each other. There seems to be something unifying about having survived the same town and high school. It’s the one thing we have in common to start with, as well as being women of the same age and having survived thus far through the trials, joys, and challenges life has brought and continues to bring each of us.
What I most like about this recent reconnection is our support for each other. There’s a kind of collective cheering for happy events, and collective hugging and empathy for sad and challenging events, and just a general camaraderie that has been missing from newer friendships I’ve made since high school ended. It’s knowing that there is a network of women who truly want me to succeed in whatever I do that is making such a difference for me, and the knowledge that there is no need to explain myself or my childhood for them to “get” me. They were there even if only in the background or around the edges of my life.
So now as we each achieve or come near to a milestone birthday, we are cheering each other along. Celebrating our lives in a way someone we have known for less time can’t completely do, simply because they haven’t been there for our formative years. It’s my hope that we will continue to maintain contact for the rest of our lives, however long they last so that along the way there is someone who can say to our families, I remember the funniest, craziest, nicest, most impressive thing that she did. It will be the greatest gift to our families to get a glimpse of who we were before adulthood conspired to change us.