Connecting with people from our past is an incredible gift.
It makes us realize how amazing it is that certain relationships in our lives are just what they are. When we are together, we don’t have to do anything other than be ourselves and enjoy each other. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been and no one is concerned with the fact that maybe we didn’t email or call as much as we possibly could have. For some reason, people were brought into our lives at one time and now they are back, like no time has passed.
I was just talking to two of my girlfriends about how I feel very lucky that many of people from my past have been coming back into my life lately, partly thanks to technology. I feel blessed for many reasons, but in particular, one reason that I didn’t realize until recently.
An old friend from freshman year of college was recently in town—we haven’t seen each other in over 15 years—and over the past week we have been catching up on our lives since those golden days, sharing stories from college, some of which we both remember, and some which have us both filling in the blanks.
I was compelled to share one of my biggest memories of her (confession: I actually think about this often because, to me, this is the moment we became friends) about the time we were going to our first official frat party. There were about ten girls that we had met the first week of school in our dorm and we all decided that we would go this is party together.
We got ready and walked out of our building in one long line, heading over to the party. I distinctly remember feeling really uncomfortable walking in with such a big group and just as this thought crossed my mind, my new friend turned to me and said, “Um, yeah, I don’t do the group thing.” I smiled and replied, “Um yeah, seriously, walking into a party with ten other girls is really my biggest nightmare.”
Rather than having a big heart-to-heart about why we didn’t want to walk into a party with a gaggle of gals or how snobby and/or bitchy we potentially might sound, we just got it, and each other. We immediately sat on the curb across the street from the fraternity house for a good 30 minutes and talked—then, when the time felt right, we went into the party, by ourselves. When I reminded her of this story, there was a chorus of, “Oh my God, was I always like that?” and, “Oh my God, I was always like that.”
This same friend was telling me about how she remembers a break up I had with my long-term boyfriend and how I hung a poem, “about intuition, being true to yourself…I don’t know, it was about watering the flower or the garden or something,” on my wall in a frame. She reminded me of how I would reference it quite earnestly as I told my friends how important it was for me to take this time out for myself and how important it was for them to trust their intuition as well.
At first, I drew a complete blank and then, with like the shock of being hit by a lightening bolt. I instantly remembered the poem, the frame—all of it. And again, choruses of, “Oh my God, was I always like that?…I was always like that.” both of us falling over in peals of laughter, realizing, quite clearly, that the way I live my life now is not because I am older, lived in India or for any other reason—it’s who I am.
When we haven’t seen an old friend for fifteen years—or for what feels like a lifetime—it’s obvious that things will change. We feel different, we are different, in many ways, but maybe not as much as we think. The greater gift in connecting with someone from our past is when they remind us, despite how much we have grown or think we have changed—we are still the same.
Despite peaks and valleys through relationships, marriages, divorces, careers, travel, kids—through life, really—even way back then, you were always you.
Traci Wallace is a New York born Californian and ex-New Delhi resident. Traci earned her degree in Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara & after working in the “Corporate World” for over 10 years in both the U.S. and India in the areas of Business/Brand Development and Communications, Traci is now a Professional Consultant, Business/Life Coach & Yoga Teacher in Encinitas, California. Traci works with clients throughout the U.S., India and Latin America. She can be found at www.traciwallace.com.
Like elephant love on Facebook.
Editors: Bryonie Wise/Kate Bartolotta