Avoiding Crisis

looking back

with one comment

and yet, at the same time, moving forward.

We all do it, look back and wonder why things are the way they are and how they could have been different. There are always things that we could have done differently, that could have turn out another way had we made some other decision, taken a different path. But there are those things, that even though we think we had control over, we didn’t and we don’t. And no matter how you look at it or try to analyze it, there is nothing you could have done or can do to change the outcome.

Jenifer at Quarter Life Crisis recently wrote

I think the biggest thing that makes me sad about those 10 years gone is the friendships that seemed so strong and unbreakable at the end of high school have mostly fizzled to an e-mail update here or there, if that.

(from the post Ten Years Gone, April 17th, 2007)

And this got me thinking about my 10 year high school reunion and those once invincible friendships that now no longer exist.

Unlike Jenifer who is anticipating her 10 year reunion, my high school reunion was held in November of 2005. I did not attend. I was living then where I am living now (which is in Buenos Aires, Argentina) and traveling 11 hours by airplane and spending close to $1000 on a ticket just couldn’t be justified.

I really wanted to go. I have a friend who went, who really didn’t want to but felt that she should, and then later said that it was a big waste. Even so, I still would have liked to have gone. If for no other reason then to tell my story.

I have a great story! Here’s how I envisioned a typical conversation:

F: Hey, long time no see.
N: True. very true. How are you?
F: Fine. So what have you been up to all these years?
N: Well, I graduated from Barnard, moved to Washington DC, worked a bit, met my husband, got married, went to grad school, had a baby, lived in Peru, had another baby, and I currently live in Argentina.
F: Wow, you’ve been busy. And Mark, how’s he?
N: Oh, he’s gay.

(N = me; F = old friend. And Mark is my twin brother – in case you were a bit confused)

At least that’s how I thought it would go. Good story, right? Right????

So when I didn’t go to my reunion it got me thinking about all those people that I didn’t get to see and catch up with and tell my really awesome story to. And since I wasn’t able to do this, I became a bit obsessive (but not in the freaky stalker kinda way, just in the really curious kinda way) about those people who I used to consider my closest friends.

You know the kind, the ones that you swore you’d never lose touch with. The ones that would be by your side forever. They’d be at your wedding, they’d be in your wedding, they’d know your kids. Yes, those types of friends.

And unless you’re my older brother who is a total freak in this area and is still best buddies with his entire high school clique, then you know what I’m talking about.

Now, if you’re anything like me, from time to time (or on the eve of the 10 year hs reunion that you’re not attending) you wonder quite a bit about these people. So, you Google them. Any maybe, if something shows up and it includes an email address you email them. Why the hell not? Right. (Seriously if you didn’t/don’t email them then you’d kinda be bordering on the freaky lurker/voyeur type that just likes to gather lots of information on other people without them actually knowing what you’re doing.)

Since you like to torture yourself, you send the basic is-this- so-and-so-who-I-used-to-be-friends-with-way-back-when email and then follow up with those hard questions – like what the fuck happened? Or if you aren’t as self-masochistic as I am then you just email them and act like you were just friends, basic friends but not the i’ll share my inner most deepest angst with you type friend, and never inquire into why you “broke-up.” ‘Cause after all that essentially is what happened. Either way, you’ll reach out to them and they may or may not respond. And even if they do reply they may or may not convey the type of emotional response that you were looking for. You have to be prepared for all situations. I’ve done this on a few occasions and sometimes the response (or lack of one) stings a bit but then you get over it. Then other times you are pleasantly surprised by the response.

But you then quickly realize that it’s never going to be the same as it was back then. Even if you really wanted it to be, which deep down inside you don’t. It could never be the same because you and that person, you grew apart for a reason and whatever that reason was didn’t just disappear. You aren’t who you were in high school and they aren’t who they were. You know what? That’s okay. You make contact, say what you have to say, and move on. And if it leads to an occasional email here and there, maybe even a spot on their yearly holiday update email, well, then, that’s always nice.

We live in the present and while it’s okay to go backwards from time to time, to learn from the past, it’s not okay to live in the past. This, I’ve learned the hard way. And here’s something else I’ve learned: It sure does feel great to let go of things and move on.


Written by nicolemarie

April 19, 2007 at 2:55 pm

One Response

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  1. Hey there! Thanks for the link back to my blog and the reference on that quote.

    Also, did you get my five questions? I e-mailed them to you yesterday. Hope you still want to play along!


    April 20, 2007 at 12:11 pm

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