Let me tell you a story…..
Once upon a time, I was in high school. I had gone to a Catholic school from Kindergarten- 8th grade, so the transition from my grade school to a public high school was a big culture shock. I hate to admit this, but I was kinda raised to be afraid of “public school kids.” According to my teachers, they all smoked, swore, and were altogether bad kids. I was TERRIFIED for my first day…. and even more terrified when one of my first encounters with “public school kids” proved that my grade school teachers were right. I felt so out of place and so uncomfortable. I didn’t seem to have anything in common with anyone. Then, I discovered theatre- and through that, I met some of the most amazing people, and some of those people became my best friends.
“My Girls” and I became pretty much inseparable. We supported each other when needed (and, lets face it, this was high school… we needed it a lot.) We had sleepovers and girls nights. We shared clothes (and boys.) We weren’t afraid to be 100% ourselves, because we knew the others would be there for us no matter what. We made some of the most hysterical memories that we hold close even today. We all knew that we were so blessed to have each other in our lives. We were family.
Graduation came and went. We all tried to stay in contact, but, like it tends to do, life seemed to get in the way. We were trying to forge our paths in life. The phone calls and emails became less and less frequent until they stopped. Once in a while we would run into each other, promise to call or email, and then go on with our lives. In the meantime, I met and became close to a number of amazing people who are still in my life and still very much a part of my heart.
Looking back, I think we needed to grow apart for that time. We all needed to figure out our own identities, and I don’t think we could have done that if we didn’t lose touch. It would have been too hard to “find ourselves” when we were still in that group mentality. The solidity that held us all together and kept us going through some of the hardest years of our lives would have held us all back. I see that now, and, as much as I have missed them over the years, I am grateful for it. God has a plan, and he doesn’t make mistakes.
A few weeks ago, I had a “date” to meet L for dinner. (L and I did stay in touch for the most part. We would go months without talking, but we knew we could always pick up where we left off. She was even in my wedding.) L told me that she had a surprise guest for me. The surprise guest also brought 2 surprises of her own. For the first time in 9 years, we were all in the same room at the same time. Even though SO much had changed, and it had been so many years, it felt almost like nothing had changed. Within minutes we were all laughing effortlessly again, and sharing stories. Sitting in the same spot in the same restaurant we had frequented as teenagers, it felt surreal. I realized, again- and in a much deeper sense, how lucky I am to know these women. How lucky and incredibly blessed I am to have them in my life again. How amazing, strong, and inspiring they all are.
In the time we had spent apart, we had all made our own lives, and proved how strong we really are. On that day, one of us was VERY pregnant, and going through a divorce. One of us was in town only temporarily to get some much needed R&R before heading out as a cast member in the national tour of “Grease”, thus living the dream that we had all shared years ago. One of us was a nurse, working in the ICU at a local hospital. One of us had more or less dropped everything to help raise her little brother. And then there is me, of course, dealing with IF.
After that visit, I know we all felt reconnected. A few days later, L had her baby and we all rallied together to welcome her into the world. Yesterday, we all got together to send B off on her tour and spend just a few more minutes together as a whole. We’re planning to get together and see her when “Grease” comes to our area. I don’t know what God has planned for our lives, but, for now, we’re becoming a family again. The place in my heart that was reserved for them has been overflowing, and I know that I am truly blessed.