In the midst of a crazy high school registration protocol that made me feel like I was getting security clearance just so my kid could attend, there was a ray of light.
I had just spent three hours filling out paperwork, proving my identity and tending to the details for my son to start his junior year. Although I had tried to look my semi-best, I was now a bit frazzled. As I stood in the hallway with the registrar discussing the need for a mid-day cocktail after jumping through all the hoops, someone walked by who looked familiar.
It took a few seconds before I knew who she was, or she me, then the hugging commenced. We were friends more than 16 years ago but hadn’t seen each other since I left town. Lots of life happens as time moves on, and you never know who will cross your path at any point, or how they now may be.
What do you do when you run into people after many years of no contact? What do you tell them? Do you just hit the highlights and leave the low points out for now, or forever? Do you spit-shine your story, polish up your past or just smile and say nothing at all?
When people we lose touch with periodically cross our minds, we usually just assume that their life is what it was when we knew them. Especially if our life is not at all how it was – it’s so easy to think that they are living their own happily ever after. It’s that perception that other people are happier than we are – the grass is always greener mentality.
In the few minutes my former friend and I quickly chatted, I learned her Cinderella story had its own twists and turns, and I completely understood. But she was still filled with so much beauty and grace in spite of it. She may have aged the teeniest of bits, but it wasn’t noticeable. Come on, most women secretly compare, and I know the toll from my own stressors.
So what was I thinking while we were chatting? Wow she looks great, she must think I look horrible. Will she even want to reconnect after losing touch all these years? Will she think I’m a fail? She seems as awesome as she always did. Did she even really like me back then so right now is she just being nice?
The inner dialogue we have when dialoging with others can be interesting. I really did not have reason to worry about anything because in all honesty life is what it is and we are who we are. The real question I had was, is it possible to pick up my old life where I left off but have it be new and better now? She brought in that ray of light.
That’s what we all want – to have our life be better now, every day better, especially when we have endured hard times. But more than that, first we have to be ok with where we have been, who we are, and where we hope we are going. We meet and even re-meet people along the way and want to be accepted, connected and fulfilled. But we shouldn’t worry. Time always tells what will happen.