Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with high school friends. Whenever I have that pleasure, I always return home feeling a glow that is different from typical happiness. It's strangely euphoric. It's just f'ing awesome.
Despite high school growing farther and farther away from me (okay, 38 years away) being with those friends always puts me in a 17 year old frame of mind. It's only those people that can bring that out in me. And oddly, if I look at their yearbook picture today, they don't look young or like a baby as when I look at other young kids today; they look just the way they're supposed to in my mind.
I once wrote about some of those friends and how much they meant to me. But there are others. Others that have moved away and I only get to see them once or twice a year. Those that I would give a left arm for them to live here and spend much more time with. Those that I built vivid memories with that will last forever.
When we were actually IN high school, get togethers consisted of drinking (yes, I did), talking about boys and who we were dating or wanted to date. We talked about dances, parties and football games. We talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up; where we wanted to go to college. We talked about things that kids talk about. We were young and we had so many hopes and dreams.
Yesterday was different. Yes, we talked about our kids and their achievements, their significant others. We talked about our spouses. But we also talked about our health. We talked about our parents and how we have all lost at least one and how the remaining one is aging rapidly. We spoke of blood clots and gall stones and cancer. We spoke of the deaths of several high school friends that were taken well before their time. We talked and talked and talked. And the whole time, I felt a level of comfort that I only feel when I am with them or family.
There is something to be said for those kinds of friends. The kind that you may not see for long periods of time but can pick right up where you left off. The kind that you literally and figuratively "grew up" with.
I changed dramatically in high school. I started as a shy, nerdy wallflower and with the friendships I developed, came out of my shell and blossomed in a way only those people could help make happen. When you surround yourself with the right people, anything is possible. Perhaps that's why I still hold them so dearly to my heart.
I'm sure that in coming years I will see them and always experience the same euphoria. However, I know as more years do pass, what we talk about will change. I grow sad when I think of how much further away those "wonder years" get. Soon it will be 40 years, 45 years and so on.
Yet, even though the reflection in my mirror tells me that I am no longer that 17 year old girl, being with those friends will always remind me of when I was. And that is a feeling I will always treasure.
Shout out to my friends from Maine North High School. Love you; you know who you are.
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