Meeting Myself For The First Time

fred rogers framed

I have been feeling quite nostalgic lately. We have been slowly cleaning out the garage which means going through box after box of random crap we’ve accumulated over the years. I’m finding baby pictures of my friend’s kids…who are now driving. I found my old college graduation photos and program from the ceremony. I came across a whole box of ankle bracelets and little tiny crocheted hats from when each of the kids was born…that may have brought on a small crying fit. I found my old yearbooks from high school…oh wow, the hair!

Given the nature of my work, I spend a good amount of time on social media. Facebook in particular. While the good ol’ F B can be a huge business builder, (and time sucker) it has also given me the opportunity to stay in touch with so many people who have had an influence on my life.

I talk to friends I’ve known since I was about 4 or 5 years old, I keep in touch with my very first best friend ever from Kindergarten.

I have found friends from high school…and even people I knew from that point in my lifetime but never really hung out with. I have a ton of friends from college…reliving our old R.O.T.C. days is always a trip! I also have friends from adulthood…military spouses from all over the country, parents of the kid’s friends, neighbors from our many old neighborhoods…there are people I have never met and people I see in person quite often. I love Facebook for this reason: if nothing else it brings people together.

Now, a lot of people say “Why do you need to talk to ALLLL of these people, I mean high school was a long time ago, right?” To that I say this; every person in my life has had some impact on who I am right now, whether it be a small impact or a large one…each person I have come into contact with during my life was put there at that specific time for a specific purpose, and I am still in contact with them today for a specific purpose.

People are important. Relating to people is important. Experiences with people are important. Remembering and celebrating people is important.

What all of this has made me realize is that I have probably been about 80 different people in my lifetime. As I have grown and learned, my life experiences have helped me evolve into the woman I am at this very moment. The kicker is…I couldn’t be this person without ALLLL of those other people! How cool is that?

Earlier I mentioned my very first best friend from Kindergarten. Her name is Tracey. Tracey and I were insepearable in elementary school. Peas in a pod besties! Then Tracey and her family moved out of the state and my world caved in around me. I was so sad and lost, BUT thank goodness I had a few other really good friends…Dawn,Nadine, Maureen, and a sweet Amish girl named Rosa Edna Miller (who I am sure will never read this) to keep my mind off of that sadness. I am still in touch with these wonderful friends to this day. We have shared ups and downs in our lives and I am blessed to still be able to call them all friends.

Same thing with my high school friends. I am still in touch with friends today who helped me through my first break-up (and all of the ones to follow), successes and failures in sports and academics, and countless other life-shaping events. As we grew up, those same friends called when they got married, found out they were pregnant with their first babies, and sent photos when their kids got on the bus to school for the very first time. Those people are precious to me. What they have done in my life is precious to me…and it all has made me who I am today.

College…oh college.

College taught me more of who I didn’t want to be than who I did want to be.

Both lessons are useful, yes, but some lessons are easier to learn than others. They say you make your best friends for life in college…I am blessed to say I have many dear friends from college that I keep in touch with and again, have shared huge life events with! Who would have thought when we were “experiencing life” in college that we would, only a few years later, be sharing wedding photos and talking about our kids?

Everyone I have met since I have graduated from college has given me some new outlook on life, whether it be positive or negative. I have learned so much from having the opportunity to meet and become friends with people who have come from all walks of life, all different religions and ethnicities, different education levels…that is not something that I take for granted. I feel like I am better able to understand and sympathize with others because of EVERYONE I have been blessed to share this journey through life with.

So that brings me full-circle; back to who I am TODAY at this very moment in time. My primary goal in life is to be just a little bit better than I was yesterday. So when you think about it, if I reach my goal every day then every day I become a new person. I can tell you for certain I am absolutely not the same woman I was in high school or even college for that matter. But when you think about it, I’m not even the same person I was yesterday! Every day I am meeting myself for the very first time…and I like it!

Do you keep in touch with people who have had an impact on your life? Is there someone you would love to reconnect with but have just not been able to find? Or are you the type to just move forward and not look back? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop me a line in the comments below and let’s chat!

 

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