I spent the weekend in the Outer Banks with ten of my Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters from Va Tech, after an absence of over twenty years. It was a really great experience to reconnect and catch up on all the happenings after a long period of going our separate ways. What made it so great was while there have been many changes: husbands, children and jobs to celebrate and layoffs, illnesses and relocations to commisserate about; there was also a shared history and fond memories to revisit. Sometimes it takes a little looking back to see how far you’ve come and where are you are ready to go next.
Each photo, scrap book, memento would bring up memories and laughter; we’d get updates from those in the room and seek data on woman we wished were there as well. Phone numbers were dialed to bring about virtual reunions, phones passed around and speakerphones enabled to hear a lost and treasured voice. Facebook was updated to invite more friends to find us while we were together. Promises were made to stay connected and be more accessible in the future, so that twenty years from now won’t be another warp speed update. More than anything else, I felt the tangible presence and gift of friendship.
This friendship allowed me to see my college self in a new light. Naive , puppy-dog happy, eager, and eternally optimistic. To see my 22 year-old self from that perspective is a gift I may not have again. I know I’d do some things differently if I were at Virginia Tech now (study harder, focus more, eat healthier, exercise more) but I also enjoy my past adventures from the vantage point of distance and wisdom. I know that I have grown up and changed, and yet I had the insight at 19 to join a fantastic group of woman that were and still are: unique, positive, fun and supportive, even if we haven’t been in the same state for a good long time! And maybe I’ll try to reunite and reconnect with my own 22 year-old self and see if I can recapture a little of that puppy-dog happy again.