Monday, October 19, 2009

"Get to know Me again"

The above statement was taken from an email from a friend I'm getting to know all over again. I've commented a couple of times recently about the dynamic that Facebook has for reuniting people. I have only been active with my own Facebook page since the middle of this summer of 2009 and have been astonished at all the reunions that have been occurring in my life. I'm reconnecting with friends from childhood, grade school through high school, and from multiple past companies I've worked for over the years. The process is particularly fascinating when the connections are with childhood friends.

With some of these people, I go as far back as kindgergarten years. That's a long time, my friends! Here's another interesting thing - some of the people from school years I'm reconnecting with via Facebook are people that I wasn't that close to way back then, but now am growing strong new friendships with. Others were good, solid connections that just got cut off when high school years ended and people went their separate ways. Revisiting, re-establishing and re-learning these relationships is a joyful thing for me.

We're all familiar with the fact that high school tends to be fraught with tensions, uncertainties, competition, insecurities and lack of communication. I don't know that we're ever really perceived in what we could consider a true light during those years, as everyone is busy with gossiping, judging and trying to keep their own heads above the social whirlpool that high school creates. Most of us get branded with a specific title, or label, very early in grade school and that, right or wrong, tends to be the perception that sticks throughout the whole school experience.

The friend that made the statement above was someone I knew throughout high school, was friendly with, socialized with, but all on a fairly surface level. Now, over 25 years later, we're talking on an adult level without the distractions of teenage angst. This is allowing us both to get to know the true people we each are and so far, it's been a lot of fun.

This getting to know one another all these years later provides a strong mirror for each person. As adults, we're able to be much stronger in our identities, secure with ourselves and as a result, secure in learning who that other person has become. It is fascinating to reconnect with childhood acquaintances and learn who they have become as adults. The things that you learn about yourself as a result of these reconnections are equally fascinating. Cue the statement above, in its entirety:

"You cheer me up, Dawn, open my eyes and allow me to almost get to know Me again."

First of all, what a lovely compliment to receive. I can't think of a greater gift to give someone than to let them know they're making a difference in someone else's life, and that comment gave me that gift. I've said it countless times before - we rarely realize that we DO make an impact on others, unless they let us know. The second, and most important fact about all of this, is the simple pleasure that these old-yet-new-again friendships give us. Regardless of the depth of interactions that may have occurred during childhood growth years, we have history with those people that forges a very strong bond. If we're very lucky, and we choose to seize opportunity when it is presented to us, we are given the chance to develop that bond into a new friendship.

I'm experiencing this with several people from those childhood years. I'm also experiencing it with several people from those various past work incarnations. They all bring new layers, complexities and color to our lives, conjuring up memories of shared laughter, absurd moments and emotions revisited, while at the same time bringing the newest, current version of ourselves together with these people.

If we're alive, we're growing. That's a basic truth. Life throws endless curves, twists and surprises at us along the road. We reconnect with people at various moments, and as a result, we reconnect with ourselves, remember who we were, recognize who we are now and see the potential and the surprising strengths that we have in the mirror of these other people's eyes. That's a beautiful experience to recognize.


  1. Today, I'm going to remember that every comment I make does make an impact on someone. Thanks for the posts! :)

  2. Thanks Marty - you definitely make a big impact, no question of that. Keep doing what you do, my friend. It matters.

  3. You deserve every gift you receive Dawn :-) Friendship is a wonderful gift!!!!!!!

  4. Love you, Sandy-Boo. Thanks for the frienship, old and rediscovered. What fun, hmm?

  5. Dang it, typo in that last post. Thanks for the friendship, Sandy! Time for bed!!! Stay tuned for more blog posts.