I’m frequently amazed at how much the world has changed in the (many) years I’ve been around. But it’s often little things that bring that point home. Last night, I had dinner with a girl that I hadn’t seen in nearly 20 years and it was all courtesy of Facebook. Renee & I were friends in junior high but ended up going to different high schools due to the crazy zoning of our school district. We kept in touch sporadically through high school and then she popped up again after high school, when we both worked at the same department store. (Me in housewares, her in the executive office.) My parents moved to Portland that summer and, like most of my retail jobs at that age, I took advantage of that excuse to quit my job and bum around for the last few weeks of summer until college started up again.
So, 1991 was the last time I’d seen Renee until she friended me on Facebook last year. We exchanged those “Wow, what have you been up to” messages on FB and then I didn’t give it too much more thought. (It’s one of my favorite things about Facebook that I can see how people from various stages of my life are doing with little to no effort on my part. Score one point for laziness!) Then a few weeks ago, I got a message from Renee that she was going to be in town on a business trip and did I want to get together. I figured it would be fun, so we made a plan for her to come meet up in Ballard and we’d grab dinner.
Thus I found myself standing on the sidewalk in front of my building, waiting for someone I hadn’t seen in 19 years. And in that crazy way that time works – she looked totally different and completely the same. T & I took her to our favorite mexican place and we had a nice dinner, then hung out at our place for a little while. It was interesting to talk to Renee. Because we’d been friends in junior high, as opposed to high school or college, there was very little of that time warp type of conversation where all you have to talk about is the past. I felt like I didn’t even start laying the foundation of who I am now until high school, so that person I was in junior high is completely forgotten. I remember the names of maybe three people from that time in my life so there was very little of that “Whatever happened to so & so?” type of stuff.
It was an interesting evening and I’m glad I did it. Whenever life happens to hand me these little reminders of the past it always amazes me of how completely different my life is now. It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George is upset that his “worlds are colliding” because that’s very much how it feels. I spent so much of my life as a chameleon and pretending to be someone else. Now that I’m finally getting to a place where I’m comfortable inhabiting my own skin, it’s amusing to meet little flashes of that former me. It makes me wonder what the me of 19 years from now will think of the present me. I can’t even begin to imagine…