A few weeks ago, I got together with some of my old friends from college. You know, the kind that really know you but in spite of all that still like you. Anyway, we spent the weekend catching up with each other and remembering old times. It was amazing that so much time had passed in just a blink of an eye.
Of course, someone had to pull out those old photos. There we were, the crew from Wilberforce University. We were eagerly posed for the camera, full of undergrad bluster only thinly disguising the fact that we were all just trying to find our way.
I saw me staring into the camera, all those years ago. Who was that naïve and arguably innocent young girl? She looked back at me with such hope and anticipation of what was to come… with a youthful confidence that life was going to be good and everything would be just fine.
If only I could tell her some things, I thought.
If only I would warn her about the bad decisions that she would make, about the miscarriages that she would grieve over, the disappointments that she would live through, the loved ones she would lose, the opportunities that she would miss, and about all the things that would seem so important but would turn out to be just the opposite. I wanted to tell her about the people she should avoid and the people she should hold on to and to be a bit more bold and not so trusting. I felt so sad for that girl who was long gone from me.
Then, it hit me. That girl had brought me through some difficult times. Her optimism was what had helped me through life’s crises and challenges. Yes, she had made mistakes but she had achieved some things too. She had had grief and setbacks, as we all will have in life, but she hadn’t let her spirit die. She had faith and passion and courage and she was a lot tougher than she looked.
I enjoyed my friends that weekend. I know that from now on, I will reach out more often because time flies. But when I look at them, I see the girls that we all were and the women that we have become.
The girl that I used to be was sending me a message across the years. She was saying that life was going to be good and everything would be just fine. I was proud of her… and I realized that that young girl isn’t such a bad old girl either.