Friday, April 25, 2008

Missing ME

There seem to be a lot of looming events in my life which are causing me to feel quite nostalgic lately. I must confess that I never did a terrific job of keeping up with the people that I grew up with once we left High School. In fact, there are very few people that I have had any contact with at all during the last 15 years. While I didn't necessarily have an unhappy High School experience, I think that there were definitely scars that needed to heal before I was ready to deal with the people who shared my history with me.
By the time my 10 year reunion came around most of the wounds were at least scabbed over and I was definitely curious to see what people had been up to. I did still hesitate a bit about attending the reunion, but in the end I went and had fun seeing everyone. Even though I enjoyed myself, there was still that little bit of me that was holding on to things that happened long ago and I wasn't 100% ready to let go of my insecurities.
Now another 5 years have passed and I find myself facing another reunion. This time around I am actually quite excited to catch up with everyone! In the last year or so I started MySpace and Facebook accounts and have been catching up with a few of the people who used to feature prominently in my everyday life. As I take a longer look at things it seems so odd to me that I spent so much time with these people for so many years, and now I have absolutely no idea what their lives are like. It seems like life truly is "out of sight, out of mind" sometimes! How could I go from spending nearly every waking minute with a person to not seeing them at all, and somehow never give it a second thought? It seems like my childhood simply vanished the day that I went off to college. I feel like there have been several different versions of me as I have grown up. I believe that this is true for just about everyone- after all, we are all in a constant state of flux, learning and growing and changing every day. However, I think many people bring others along with them on their journey where I seem to have a history of dropping people like a bad habit as I go. I'm really not sure why.
I think that part of it must be simply a matter of geography. As I entered my senior year of High School and began making decisions about where I wanted to go once I graduated, one of my main priorities was to get away from the people that I had known all my life. I felt misunderstood and judged, and I thought that college was my chance at a fresh start. I think that I believed that I would still stay in touch with all of my friends as well, but aside from a couple of fairly uncomfortable encounters with one of my former "best" friends, that never really happened. I did make an attempt to reestablish some connections when I transferred to a school back in my home state knowing that many of my old classmates went there as well. I saw some of them on occasion, but never really got reconnected with anyone. I met my husband shortly after my transfer and he became my focus. I was also still pretty insecure and the fact that my friends had a year and a half of shared history that I was absent from made me feel like an outsider. It wasn't long before I moved to Illinois to be with Kevin and at that point any friendships that had been maintained at all fell by the wayside.
It saddens me that I allowed this to happen. I am the type of person who is content to be on my own, but I do often feel the lack of "sisterhood" in my life. I have never really established any deep friendships here in Illinois. That's not to say that I don't have friends...I do. It's just that I don't have any friends who know me as well as I know myself. I don't have friends who can remember how absolutely insane I was when I was a teenager. No one is around to rehash the old days and laugh about them. I don't have anyone who can look at my daughter and be reminded of things that I used to do when I was her age.
I was a huge, crazy, nutball fan of New Kids on the Block as a teenager. I will admit to still harboring a major crush on Joe McIntyre (to the point that I have followed his post-New Kids career). The recent news that they are getting back together makes me want to relive that giddy 15 year old obsessive love. I hate that there is no one around who can relive my goofy antics with me.
I love my husband and daughter more than life itself, and I am pretty happy 9 days out of 10, but there is not a day that goes by when I don't long for "Home". It bothers Kevin that I still think of Maine as my home. Obviously there is no home for me without him or Ciara. The home that we have together is a nice one. However, if he weren't here with me I would leave Illinois in a nanosecond without a second thought or a look over my shoulder. Maine is where I feel the most like ME.

2 fabulous responses:

Carol said...

NKOTB are reforming?? I have to check that out. I was a big fan of Jordan Knight myself!! I think getting older makes you nostalgic I have caught myself thinking back lots recently.

TheAustinEmpire said...

I'm a lot like you, moved away after high school and I missed both of my reunions so far. I did contact a couple of people I went to school with, and even though I keep in touch it's different. I still think about what it would be like to live there.