Tuesday, May 18, 2010

#5 - Meet up with an old high school friend I haven't chatted with in years

As I mentioned before this was sort of already planned but I thought it might be something fun to write about and reflect upon.

I'm not sure how many of you all stay in contact with those you went to primary or high school with. I know since the development of facebook people have definitely gotten more connected. I'll admit I reconnected with this friend originally on facebook but only on a very surface level.

We met in grade 9 and quickly found ourselves in the same group of friends. We hung out in our group at lunch, for after school stuff, you know the way teenagers do. I was never really close with Sasha, we were more friends by association, however we did like eachother very much (at least I liked her).

Since I stayed in our home town for years after high school I was still connected with her family somewhat. Wally mentored her little brother a bit and I ran into her parents and sometimes even her every now and then. We'd chat a bit. Catch up on weddings, babies and jobs. That was about it.

Until she found my blog.

From what I remember from her e-mail she was kinda just browsing through a mutual friend's blog list and mine was there. She did a bit of reading before she realized the 'anonymous' blogger was me. Apparently she read through the entire thing and finally, after receiving a party invite, contacted me to tell me she'd been reading for a while. She didn't want to tell me in fear I'd feel obligated to invite her to the party. Lucky her she was invited anyway!

I remember reading her e-mail explaining how she felt like she knew me more now (after reading the blog) than she ever had before. She went on to say through reading my blog she understood much better why Wally and I didn't have kids (she even apologized for judging - pffst ... like she had to do that!). Sasha said she felt that through reading my thoughts she learned more about herself and was able to really think about some stuff.

That e-mail meant so much to me. So much.

Sasha was excited for the invite to the party and though circumstances did not allow for her to be there instead we made a date to catch up. See my party was about so much more than a party.

I guarded May 17th with my life and made the hour and a half drive down (or up I'm not certain) the highway to see her and meet her 2 kiddos.

I have to share that just as much of this challenge was driving to see my friend. I'm not a veteran highway driver my any means. I don't mind using it at all really, the challenges for me are all of the cut offs, ramps and basically the directions. Have I mentioned how bad I am with directions?

The drive was going well until I got to my first real 'stay left'. the problem was the GPS chick informed me of 'staying left' about 5 seconds AFTER I veered right. Bitch. It's like she was toying with my insecurities.

So I let out an expletive and followed some signs that appeared hopeful to take me where I needed to return to. They were clearly playing with my lack of directive abilities as well as they completely lied.

I listened to the ... lady for a while until I saw a sign that I thought I could trust and I soon found myself back where I was supposed to be. Phew!!

I arrived about a 1/2 hour later than planned, which for me now a days was right on time.

I knocked on the door and soon tip toed in the house to be greeted by Sasha and her very adorable baby Jakey. Wally would've loved him.

Once organizing babyness we sat and streamed easily into a comfortable conversation. We talked about so and so from high school, what's her face, and what's his name. Caught up on who was where and doing what with whom. We talked about our families a bit and hit on the in law situation (a hot topic for almost every married woman).

We even got to go a little deeper with things. Talking about challenges in marriage, having kids, not having kids. Just life.

You know what I loved? That it felt like we were close friends of old. Really we weren't that close before. It felt like no time had passed. Ten years had passed. It felt so ... comfortable.

Having gone back to school after nearly ten years of being out. Then starting a couple of new jobs after never entering a 'real' job type atmosphere. I have really gotten used to uncomfortable conversation. You know that rigid, surfacey, distant conversation that you do because that's what you do.

Obviously you can't expect to jump into personal stuff with strangers but once in a while you get lucky and you can be yourself and understood from step one. That is awesome.

I'm gonna guess that the fact that Sasha read my blog already and pretty much had a giant window into my thoughts and heart helped our time be more relaxed and easy. However it was more than that. It was that Sasha not only peaked through he window to my soul, but accepted it and decided to engage.

She didn't have to. She could easily have decided to mark me as a useless, misunderstood non kid person who knows nothing about anything. (I'll be honest if I had kids that's what I would think, because come on, really, how can someone lacking that huge responsibility know about ... well ... anything. I'm not kidding that's what I would think).

Sasha and I visited for almost three and half hours before I needed to head home. I got to meet her older kiddo too, who reminded me of a precious moments figurine - so cute.

I have so much more to share about my observations on motherhood after my visit with Sasha but I'll save them for a collectively thoughtful post.

My visit with my old high school friend was awesome. It was worth the 3 hours in the car, 2 traffic jams, 1 serious bout with construction and my interesting detour.

What did I learn?

If you open yourself up to it life can bring you many unexpected friends. Often we look at someone who was a friend in a certain way and never see them any other way but sometimes when time passes, people grow and change and you just never know who might be brought back into your life. It's really very cool.

In the past year (well probably way longer) I have been pursuing an honest life, to be my most honest self. Through that I have opened myself up to rejection, misunderstanding, judgment and people just not liking me. I haven't always been tactful, kind or thoughtful in how I present my 'true self' and let's be honest I'm not sure if it's possible or healthy to be your truest self to everyone.

I have questioned myself several times when I've allowed people inside my deepest thoughts and musings, wondering if it is wise. But if I'm going to be honest about who I am it's just got to happen.

By letting people in, like Sasha (and many of you), I have reaped the rewards of unexpected 'connections'. I am fascinated by this, by you. I am fascinated that one person could experience something that so many others can identify with even though they have not gone through it exactly. And I find it amazing that we can often feel so disconnected in this world full of billions of people.

That's why I think it's so important to be brutally honest. We think we are alone, but we're not. When we aren't connected to others we easily begin to feel sorry for ourselves, we lose perspective and we fall into despair. But if we can only be honest about things we could maybe, just maybe hold on to a little something, a little someone that might be able to help up back to reality (what ever the hell that is).

I could go on and on but I don't want to bore you, I'm really just rambling.

Bottom line = sometimes being honest about who you are and sharing it with others hurts, but sometimes it's the best gift you could receive.