I’ve found myself thinking quite a bit about Reunions lately.
“Who will be there?” “Do I even want to go?” “Who has changed the most?” “How have I changed?” these are all questions I’ve mulled over.
Within a span of two months I will have gone to two significant Reunions.
This weekend dozens of women from my sorority had a spontaneous gathering. It was somewhat planned, but unexpected. It was a first (hopefully of many) In the fall, I will have my 10 year High School Reunion.
The ever-increasing use of social media has both helped and hurt reunions. It’s easier to track someone down, but they may have less anticipation or eagerness to attend a function since they keep up with them via Facebook or some other means. (This very topic was the subject of a friend’s recent blog post which, in part, inspired this post.)
I logically expected things to mirror how they were. I knew I’d be sitting near my best friend (who happens to be my Big Sis) and there were many groups of the same. We all easily fell back into how things were–girls would leave and exchange pleasantries and chatter, but would eventually return to who they had always sat next to during functions.
Maybe for this reason many people have wondered ‘If it’s just the same…but later, is there really a need to go?”
My answer in an instant became a resounding ‘Yes’ and it was just because of One person.
During our Junior year of College, Jessica and I (along with Melissa, who was unable to attend) were inseparable. I talked to this girl multiple times a day.
I was there when she started dating the man that’s her husband. I attended funeral services for her father. She was there for me when my mother passed. We sat next to each other during meetings. We went to parties together. We got into trouble. We cried from laughter.
And then….Life happened.
We both became busy with work. Schedules were tough. Distance made it more difficult. She got married and had a daughter. The last time I’d seen her was at Melissa’s own baby shower, which has been well over a year and a half ago.
There was never a falling out or disagreement, just promises of plans that didn’t happen. Hopes that became cluttered with errands and to-do lists and other plans.
The Instant she walked in the door I rushed to hug her, which she immediately responded with “Oh! I almost started crying when I saw you!!!” and I felt the same.
We too fell back into our old, familiar patterns and ways. Ways I had longed for and missed for far too long.
I think in many ways Facebook attributed to things, at least for me.
I could tell you what things were like in her classroom, I’d seen the latest pictures of her daughter, I’d seen rants and remarks.
But I was merely a spectator in her life, when I was once an active player.
That….is something I felt the instance she walked in. “How had I let “Staying Connected” replace “Reconnecting and Reminiscing?!?” An email or message doesn’t hold a candle to a face to face conversation. The internet and social media can make it easy to feel like a bond is still there, while (at times) isolating us further.
If you’ve stayed in touch with exactly and all the people you once (or ever) held dear then I commend you. It’s been something I have struggled with, but especially after this weekend strive to improve on.
I was overjoyed to see all of the women there. Many whom I now had new connections with that were discovered via Facebook (cooking for example). And there were many women (Melissa, Brooke, Jenny, Melissa, Cristin, Jill to name a few) who hold a special place with me, but who were unable to make it this time.
This experience also makes me eager for my High School Reunion, and the people who have been scattered throughout the country. To see their faces, and hear their stories.
It served as a reminder that Frienship, like any other important relationship, requires work.
Facebook is there to connect people, it’s My job to be present.