Blasts from the past
Old friends—-they knew you when—-and that can be a good thing or a bad thing. We all have those people from our past who we are thrilled to reconnect with, and those who we really hope stay in our past. Those are the people who knew us when we were, ummm, “not at our best.” Yeah—-basically, when we made total fools of ourselves. When we were oh so awkward. When we did stupid things to get that boy’s or girl’s attention. “Oh, that’s sooo not who I am now, they must know that,” we think. Yet, we wonder if they do. Cringeworthy connections—-most of us have at least a couple of those. I sure do.
Then, there are the reconnections that you are thrilled to make, or thrilled that they found you. We all have those, too—-and those are the ones that this post is dedicated to. Because for every connection that you’re sure remembers you as that unattractive, goofy person, there are so many more that think of you fondly as the authentic, younger you with the world in front of you. The person with whom they laughed and dreamed, figured out how to get out of or into trouble with, the people that you stayed up with, talking into the night—-relationships where you both grew because of your connection with each other.
It’s so good to hear from you!
I reconnected with some of those people, recently, most of them through Facebook—-I am a latecomer to FB, having just joined within the past couple of weeks. Outside of FB, earlier this year, one former (and now again current:) very dear friend sent me an email, saying that she had seen my name in the new version of our college directory.
More on FB later.
I remember seeing the email from Davida. She had been one of my longest-term (I try not to say “oldest” anymore:) and dearest friends, growing up. We knew each other in elementary school and became very close in high school, attending the same college. In fact, she was the reason that I chose to go to Boston College—-she loved it so, and I had such a great time every time I visited her. Unfortunately, we lost touch after graduation. I googled her a couple of times, but never reached out.
How do I know it’s really you?
Then, last winter, there was an email saying that she had seen my name in the new BC directory. The email “sounded” like the Davida that I had known, but I was a bit skeptical—-this just seemed too good to be true after all these years. The poor woman—-I told her that I was delighted to hear from her, if in fact, it really was her—-“after all, emails get hacked”, I said—and would she mind proving that it was her? Yes, I really did that.
God bless her, she responded right away, and did so with humor. She proceeded to remind me that I had been one of her bridesmaids, describing my full bridesmaid’s outfit; and talked about both of us attending our home town’s “Shad Derby” in 1973 (as well as our respective roles at that event). Then, Davida asked if she should go on.
Now, feeling a little sheepish, I said, “No, that seems like enough proof:).” I was so happy to hear from her. We caught each other up on our respective lives and stay in touch regularly, now.
Then, there are my “new” FB friends. Joining FB has been a trip—-mostly a good one. Somehow, I’ve managed to stay hidden from the people who knew me when, ummm, I wasn’t at my best:). I have been taught some FB etiquette, and hope that I am following it correctly. That said, it seems to be going well from a friend standpoint.
Most of my new “friends” have come from high school, but many go back as far as elementary school. I knew that could happen on FB, but was surprised at the number of connections made with people that I had known since we were, literally, six years old—-now, those were good times! In those days, most of us went home for lunch, so we had extra time to chat, walking back-and-forth to school together. I could still see the classroom pictures that we had been in, in their faces. What was even more surprising was how easily we were able to get back in to friendly relationships. Then, I remembered having seen some of them at our 25th high school reunion. Though there had been a lot of different circles of friends in high school, and most of us seemed to be in different ones, I had sat with my elementary school friends for quite a while, that night. We had picked up where we left off pretty quickly, too, at that reunion, laughing and getting each other up-to-date on our lives.
The high school reconnections have been so much fun. They have ranged from people that I hung around with regularly, to people who I’d chat with in the busy hallways, to some that I am surprised even remembered who I was. I also reconnected with my 10th grade English teacher. He had always been one of my favorites, and I was happy to tell him that I had become a writer, thanks to the help of his good teaching.
I look forward to staying in touch with these “new,” longtime friends. Most of that will likely be through FB, but there have also been a handful of people who have either moved to FL or winter in the area—-and those people I look forward to seeing in person.
So, the past couple of weeks have been something of a time warp. Thankfully, I didn’t have a lot to make peace with in my past (except for those few relationships that haven’t found me yet), but staring back at my high school self made me do a little “compare and contrast” with the person that I was at various points to the person that I am now. It’s funny, because in many ways, the person that I am now probably isn’t all that different from that girl at Windsor High, and I’m probably a little less similar to that 40-something self who was raising a family. In any case, these reconnections have brought me closer to finding my piece of the puzzle—-many thanks to you all for that. It’s been wonderful to catch up with my new longtime friends.
Until next time,