Ramble On Old Friends

I have been deleting and rewriting this post all morning long.  I’m trying to explain why I felt such a yearning to reconnect with my college friends when I felt an equally strong aversion to find schoolmates from high school.  I thought I had narrowed it down to the difference between friends by circumstance and friends by choice.  I thought I had narrowed it down to the difference between friends during tough times and friends during happy times.

I’ve finally decided that I can’t make a pretty fence around my friends from different eras.  I guess I don’t even know what the point is of this post.

High school is a difficult time for everyone.  As our brains and bodies were changing so quickly we often morphed into creatures indistinguishable as ourselves.  Sometimes we were unkind.  I never want to relieve high school for two reasons, equally as important: I am sorry for things I did, and hurt by things that happened to me.  While I appreciate those with whom I’m still friends and grateful for some of the new relationships I’ve developped now that we’ve grown up, the reality is that I’m not over high school and I’m not ready to jump back in and try to recontact everyone.  There are only a handful of people with whom I’ve lost touch that I’d like to meet again.

I love being an adult.  I love feeling more in control of my life.  I took a huge leap when I went to college in the US, but it forced me to grow.  I made choices with no regard to what others would think.  I chose classes I thought I’d like, and I made friends with those who made me happy.  Many of those friendships have endured, but some have waned for a myriad of reasons. 

Finally I’ve decided that maybe I feel a stronger affinity with those from college because it was a more pivotal period in my life.  I’ve also decided, however, that when I do come across old acquaintances from the north that we should just start fresh.  I don’t want them to judge me on who I was more than a decade ago; I shouldn’t do the same to them. 

4 thoughts on “Ramble On Old Friends

  1. My mom always used to tell me that the friends I had in high school would fade while the friends I made in college would be forever. At the time I felt that it was because we had such common interests. By college I wasn’t forced to take a bunch of math and science courses beyond the general requirements. I could run around the snow building with people who wanted to learn the same things that I wanted to learn. Did that make sense at all?

  2. You’re so right on so many things! I have had the joy of actually being contacted by girls from high school whose opinion of me was less than pleasant while in high school. One of those girls found me on Facebook and actually sent me a message and we got to talking. She’s now in Ottawa, raising her three children with her husband. It sounds like she’s happy and doing well. The odd thing is, she and I started school together in Elementary school and actually were sort of friends. Then as junior high started, she went one way, I went the other, eventually never talking again. It makes me wonder why she suddenly found that moment to talk to me again, but it was still a nice surprise!

    I was also recently blessed with the chance to see two girls from high school I haven’t talked to since graduation! 11 years! One of them came to the surprise baby shower Kate threw for me, the other got married! I found those to be two wonderful places to talk to people I haven’t seen in forever. Both celebrations of milestones in our lives. But at the same time, it made me feel kind of inadequate, because both had been through school and gone on to do things. One is helping to develop a mother tongue in Ethiopia, the other went to Japan and taught English, and now has a folk album out. But then I realized, I was never motivated to do those things. I never even dreamt of doing those things. Not because I’m lazy, but because they didn’t interest me. Anyway, I’m doing what I want to do now, and I’m happy. What else is there to be!? But still, it’s nice to talk to these people again, and while yes, it does stir up unpleasant memories, there’s enough distance for me between high school and my life now, that it’s basically like starting fresh. I don’t really know these people anymore, and they don’t really know me. Will we be friends again? Who knows? But why look back on it another 11 years from now and wonder “What if I just gave it a chance? How different could my life be?” I’ve always believed that any person who comes into your life, no matter the length, come into our lives for a reason…good or bad.

    So yeah…that was an ultra long comment. Sorry! Just wanted to share my most recent experiences regarding what you were talking about. But I do agree with you. It’s hard to want to recapture those relationships, but like I said, is it possible you could be better/closer friends with some of these people now? Some of them, definitely not. I know that for sure. I see some of them when I go up north and there’s still that “look” that I got then. But I’ve grown up enough to know who is good for me, and who isn’t!! And I think that’s the key!!:)

    Okee…talk to you soon I hope! We haven’t chatted in so long!! Been too busy on both ends I’d imagine!! And I’m really glad that even though we met in high school, we’re still friends!!

  3. I totally understand! I’m much closer with my college friends than my high school friends (except for the ones I spent my whole life growing up with…we are still very close!)

    However, when we moved back to Preston (where I grew up) there was a girl that I had gone to HS with that had moved into our ward with her family. Let’s put it this way, we weren’t enemies, but we definitely weren’t good friends either. We both did our own things, had our own circle of friends and so on. Anyway, now, we have become really good friends! Our babies are less than 24 hrs apart in age, we are the same age and our husbands are the same age (7 yrs between me and my hubby)! We love to get together and play games, our older kids love to play together…it’s great! She said to me one day, “If you had asked me in HS if I would ever hang out with Laural E, I would have laughed in your face, but now, it just makes sense!” It’s cool!

    Ok, now that I have written way more than I should, I just have to remind myself to keep an open mind when I see people from HS, because we’re all different 11 yrs later in some or another!

  4. The only college I went to was several classes when I was a freshman in HS so I didn’t make any friends because I was way younger than everyone else. I’ve only kept in vague contact with a couple friends from HS. I’m curious about a lot of other friends. I had some really good friendships in HS that I thought would last but didn’t make it past the door on graduation day.

    Although Nathan and I have kept in contact with a large group of friends that we knew when we worked at Lagoon (UT amusement park where we met). We don’t keep in great contact with them but we visit with them occasionally when we’re in UT. Its always weird because they expect us to be the same people we were back when we were 14 (me) and 17 (Nathan). And they expect our kids to be totally crazy because in their minds we’ve stayed teenagers and now we’ve got kids! Anyway, it’s just kind of weird!

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