October 19, 2012

Full Circle.

Posted in Life Lessons, My Five tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:50 pm by openendedcomment

So many say that the advent of social media is leading to the breakdown of communication as we know it.  I know many people whom I consider friends that flat-out refuse to participate for various reasons.  Some state that they don’t want their personal life available for view, others that they don’t feel the need to know everything everyone is doing and still others, my husband among them, because they feel that everyone they want to speak to or know about they already do.  I can understand all of these things, but I do not agree.

Social Media, Face Book, Blogs and even the simplicity of email and text have enriched my life in ways I could not have foreseen and will be ever grateful for.  Of course there are the posts that drive me nuts and the ones I wonder at…but then I know I do the same to others and all is well.  We are grown ups and grown ups (should be) able to understand that not everything is to be taken literally.  Hence the reason I feel these things are mostly adult(ish) forums, but I digress.  The bit about who should/should not participate in these social networks is a post for another day.  As I enter the back-end of my thirties my life has become almost unsustainably busy.  I have a full-time career.  I am a Mother of four active and very wonderful children with whom I am extremely involved.  I have a husband, parents, siblings and friends.  In order to keep up with all of these people and all of these things, this wonderful age of technology and communication is not only easier but essential.  Without it I would never know of or be able to keep tabs on what the people I care about are doing in and with their lives.  I would not be connected to family members, aunts, uncles and cousins scattered throughout the country.  I use it less for gossip and more for lovely things like friendship, family, humor and information.  Sure, I could call…but in reality, I don’t have the time and neither do they.  I suppose writing a letter is possible and some would say more thoughtful, but again, that requires getting to the post office and waiting for a response and though it may seem lazy to admit, I know myself better than to think I would have the time to do that.  I mean, I have dry cleaning that hasn’t been claimed in six months…speaking of which…I must do that today. We don’t have a “main street” or “corner cafe” at which we have breakfast or see friends known from childhood.  The world just isn’t like that anymore.

It goes further than light conversation or keeping tabs.  It goes to the basic human need to be connected and the joy of rediscovering people I would not know today that were so essential in my life at one time.  Friends I had in high school and even junior high school with whom I lost touch these past decades.  People who were dear to me and lost to me are found again on my own little digital home-town.  There are so many who fit this criteria of people I am glad to know again but for this post and because of this day it’s about two women I once knew and again know.

As an eighth grader, one of my dearest friends was a girl named C.  We hung out at each other’s homes constantly.  We even made a band.  A band of two…but there were signs.  In high school we grew apart and after that we saw each other only once, at a ten-year reunion, at which we really didn’t speak.  Through social media I “found” her again and we “speak” semi-regularly now.  No, we aren’t “best friends” but each time we write I am reminded of why we became friends in the first place all those years ago.  She is smart.  She is kind and she is hilarious.  She and I also lead somewhat similar lives today as step-mothers and wives and women.  I am invested in her blog because through it I found my friend and some sound advice combined wth many laughs.  We’ve been trying to set up a lunch and not shockingly, can’t find the time.  But we will and as I write even this I am wondering how her weekend is set and who is home with her children over MEA and if a certain plan she has in the works is working out the way she hopes (if you read this I’m referring to the twofer plan…fingers crossed!)  Again and happily so,  she is someone I care for and someone I want to see have everything in life.

There are poignant moments, too.  Just today a girl, now a mother of three, with whom I was very close my junior and senior year of high school and again, someone I haven’t seen since, wrote something very personal.  She is going through a difficult time and I wish I could do more for her to ease her pain.  I found myself crying at my desk remembering being in her home at sixteen.  Remembering her family and the talks she and I shared over saltines in her basement and lunch tables at 6th hour.  Wondering at the strange and long road I’ve been on these last twenty years and feeling as though I had been a  terrible friend for letting something that was once so important to me go with such ease.  She and I also communicate now and from what I can tell, she is exactly who I had always thought she would be, an amazing Mother, Wife, Woman and Friend.  She and I had the same English teacher Senior year.  He had us write ourselves a letter, which was to be mailed to our 27-28 year old selves to review.  In mine, I had spelled out a vision of a life for myself I do not lead.  I wanted such different things back then…and today, reading her post, something became clear.  What was most important to me then is what is most important to me now.  The rest may have changed, and most for the better, but these women were spelled out by name to remind me to know.  Her name was in it.  Hers, along with a woman in San Fransisco, another in a Northern Suburb, one now in Iowa, one who had her second son only weeks ago a few miles from where we went to pre-school together, and a woman who today celebrates her birthday.  I told myself that I would always know them.  Some I never lost touch with, others I did, and thanks to this world we live in, all I now know again.

For women this is essential.  We need our friendships.  My circle is small in part because I prefer it that way and in part as I have been remiss in keeping ties bound.  I have Glitter and I have Cielo and I have my Mother, too.  But aside from them and sometimes even including them, I am terrible about keeping in touch to the level I mean to and want to.  We are all connected again and in so I am enriched and blessed.  We’ve come full circle these women and me.  We started out fast friends, took different paths, changed our ways, changed our minds, became new people, found our homes, built our families and learned who we are.  And in the end, at least for a few, found that the core of who we were is more of who we are than we had ever imagined and as such rediscovered that those girls we knew we liked are women we know we need.

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