Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's Been Awhile!

Licorice Pizza
Del Taco
Slam Books
Ultimate Frisbee Golf
Open Forum
Body Surfing
Racquet Ball
Rocky Horror
Apple Computer
The Fund Run
Class Rats
D & D
School Dances

It's wonderful and strange the places, names, faces, and activities that come to mind when I've been revisiting junior high school days...at a very small, unique school. It's wonderful and strange, too, to compare notes, laughing over memories, and learning things I didn't know at the time, shifting my understanding, appreciating the journey, recognizing the way life connects us, and reconnects us. I know there were "important" ideas and feelings that I let lead my beliefs and choices then, and it's a happy gift to be able to see what mattered, what I can let go of, and enjoy realizing that all the parts brought me to this present, this life, where I am happy and grateful. It makes me less anxious, less willing to be led by doubt and fear, insecurity.

Thirty-three years ago, Jen and I were classmates in a small school. In a small school you are friends with everyone... you know everyone. But, of course, in jr. high there were best friends, and carpool friends, shared-interest friends, she's friends-with-my-friend-so-we're-friends-too friends, slumber party friends... an intricate and elaborate maze of adolescent sweetness, drama, immaturity, sincerity, misguided beliefs, insecurities, obsessions, crushes, and hilarious nonsense. I love recalling the hilarious nonsense! The boy who could chew five pieces of Hubba Bubba bubble gum at once, with braces! What was his name? Never mind... he doesn't deserve to be be remembered for that!

Jen and I poured over a yearbook. Who knew we had such big hair?? And those OP shorts. They really were short, guys. As short as the shorts were, they almost met the striped tube socks that were worn up to the knees. The pictures are so faded and faint, but we had the best time making out faces, and recalling smiles, habits, nicknames, outings. I know, 'you had to be there,' and the details aren't too interesting if you weren't there, but Jen and I were totally engrossed, and laughing... at ourselves, at those things that seemed "important," and shaking our heads about silly things we thought mattered, but didn't. I'm shy, and that's fine, but I can see that these opportunities to empathize and share, to engage with people who knew you when, and who want to know you now, are good and worthwhile. At least, this is what I am learning.

Jen lived in Big Sur, and has been visiting there, again, trying to make a difference to her friends who endured the Pfeiffer Ridge Fire. She thought some native seeds, wild flowers, would be a nice gift to share. It's healing, after a fire, to think ahead to spring and how the forest will grow and restore itself. I was happy to know some great nurseries we could visit to help fulfill this wish. Jen and Maria fell in love with these darling little Cyclamens. Maria's is on the dining table, now, and Jen's is with her Grandmother. She found a beautiful and soft little fern, and we agreed it would be a cheering and colorful spot for her Grandmother to enjoy seeing at her bedside.

Jen never signed my yearbook! Peter signed it twice, and even included a promise to sign it a third time. Jill signed at least twice and then another time, two years later, so I thought this was enough of a precedent for Jen to sign the 1982 yearbook in 2014. It's never too late to wish a friend 'a bitchin' summer,' with hearts dotting the i's.

Love the lessons, new and old, I am still learning, and spending the day with a generous, kind, beautiful, interesting friend.


Janece said...

There's so much good and yay in this! Enjoy!!

ArtyZen said...

How lovely - and how strange that this week, via Facebook, I've been reminiscing in much the same way with a friend I had more than 40 years ago! We went to different schools and didn't stay in touch but it's been great to chat to her again and all those memories have been really stirred up with great pleasure.
I can just imagine what a wonderful time you've had together and having Maria there is super-special. I know my daughter loves to spend time with me and friends from a when I was young! Axxx