Today I had a wonderful time at Girls’ Group with some girls from my church. Afterwards, we went to Dunkin Donuts for some more hang out time, and I ran into some people I haven’t seen since high school graduation day. It was surprisingly depressing.
One of them was a guy named Aaron*. His family and my family used to be very close; we’d go on family vacations together, we’d spend birthdays and the Fourth of July together, etc. and since our families were close, Aaron and I were close, too. As we got older, we drifted because we didn’t occupy the same social circles, but we were still friendly to each other. It was a little different for me because I had had a crush on him from first grade through about eighth grade and he knew it but, of course, didn’t reciprocate those feelings. It was ok because in high school I was able to put aside my feelings and just be friends. He used to come to church because his family attends the same church I do, but he stopped going as often during high school, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t go at all anymore, at least not to my church with his family.
The reason it was surprisingly depressing, as I wrote just a paragraph ago, was because it made me think of all of the things I thought about in high school: the things I valued, who I admired, what I wanted to be, who I wanted to be like, and all of the things I thought were important. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. I look back at the person I used to be, and I wish that maybe I hadn’t cared so much about what certain people thought, or what they did at parties I wasn’t invited to, or where they went on vacation. Oh, how our ideas of what’s vital to our lives changes as we mature.
Something else that struck me was how different our lives were from the time when we were in high school, and even before that when Aaron and I used to be pretty close. After graduation, I went off to college. After graduation, he went straight into the real world and got a job. His life is so drastically different from mine, even though we were cut from the same cloth, as they say. We both grew up going to the same church and we had somewhat similar families, and it takes me a while to understand how we could have turned out so … opposite. I’m sure I could speculate all day about what those distinct influences were that took us on different paths, but I honestly don’t know if I have a right to. Who am I to be trying to figure out why someone turned out the way he did? I don’t know his entire life. It’s not for me to say.
In my mind, seeing Aaron was like reuniting with an old friend. I was so excited to see him and I wish so much that he would come to the college Bible study that we have at my church. I miss him; I miss seeing him, talking with him, and being his friend. I’m sure he didn’t feel the same way in the moment, but I’m pretty sure he was at least glad to see me. I’m a very relational person, and like I said in one of my earlier posts (Wise words from a wise woman), it kills me that I can’t keep in touch with everyone I used to be such good friends with. My heart goes out to Aaron because I so want for him to be reconnected with the church, and I want to reconnect with him as a friend.
*Name has been changed.