Thursday, May 24, 2012

Go to your Reunion
a.k.a. visit old friends

20 years… that’s right.  My 20-year high school reunion was at the end of April.  I am NOT old enough to have graduated from high school 20 years ago – that’s longer than I was old at that time. Just sayin’ not possible.  And yet…

Elizabeth the Beautiful, TC 1 Time Now & me
It came around and while I have missed all reunions except the 5-year (St. Mary’s celebrates every 5 years), I was determined to go.  Boarding school may be a little different than local high schools – can’t really say I know for sure – but non-boarding school seems easier to attend as it tends to be your home town.  Nonetheless, I was in!

High School, 20 years later, is going to have some revisionist history happening.  But my two SMC besties, Elizabeth the Beautiful and TC 1 Time Now, were on my list.  Elizabeth and I are FB friends so that was easier – she was in immediately.  Made my day!  Took some time but together we tracked down Tiffany and although 7 months pregnant and unable to join us for our PJ party, she wanted to be there and truly was in spirit.

Such a surprise and blessing!  Two gals, who were among my dearest friends at 17-18 years old, were back in my life after 15+ years of drifted apart.  And we picked right back up from where we left off.  Although I can’t truly articulate how very cool that is to experience, I wish it for everyone.  It is probably hard pressed for us to have grown along more different paths (banker, lawyer, social worker) – not earth shattering, just different - but there have been limited weekends over the past few years (outside of family), where I have felt so loved for me… quite the gift to treasure.

Me, Allison (P-Train), Valerie,
Elizabeth the Beautiful, Ellie & Holleigh
Beyond satisfaction from the reconnect, was getting to know former acquaintances and classmates.  There were the girls from the college (we felt so cool to hang with them!) but also our peers that we knew well, knew differently, or didn’t know much at all.  Life has been the great equalizer and does not care who was or was not cool in high school.  We have had our own challenging journeys and found ourselves humbled and inspired to be there for each other today.

I’ll wrap this entry with a special thanks to my mom.  The night before graduation (May 1992), Elizabeth and I were at the reception with our parents, then heading out to meet two of our BFs from home - both Stephanies coincidentally!  We were telling my mom how lucky we were to be best friends “forever” so early in our lives.  Mama said something to the effect of – “just know that it is really hard to maintain high school friends later in life… you will really have to work at it.”

Of course, I was fiercely offended and insistent on the 2nd “F” of “BFF”!  But how right she was, and then we both were.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine and value how friendships grow and change, ebb and flow – and can mirror the best elements of a life journey.  I am so thankful for those friendships - then and now – and so many more I have been blessed with throughout my life! 

In all the ebbs and flows, highs and lows, when needed and needing, mirroring and supporting life’s progression and evolution - what a gift from God!  (And that is so many gals beyond the SMC days – too many to mention!)  But for now, I can’t wait for our 25th reunion!

So I wanted to share that #ThisJane Says, go to your reunions - reconnect.  Give an old friendship the opportunity to be new or even better, be OLD and just “there” again.  You may be surprised by how intimidating it feels but how easy it turns out to be...

Saint Mary’s Girls, best in the world!  And thanks Mom and Dad, for such a wonderful, life-long gift!

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