I can’t tell you how pleased I was to receive a Facebook request today from someone whom I had not seen since 1985. She was the youngest daughter of my high school LDS Seminary teacher (and Stake Presidency Counselor), whom I revered as an example of what I wanted to become.
As the sister of the girl whom I dated in my senior year, I always noted that she was a precocious child. She had large, watchful eyes and an intelligent, but quiet demeanor. She always seemed to be taking in my actions and listening to my words and I felt it was important to be an example to her.
I’m always a little trepidatious when I receive friend requests from people I knew when I was actively LDS. Will they now judge me? Will they quickly de-friend me? Will they respect my life and choices?
Will we have anything in common but our shared humanity? I guess in this instance, I will shortly see.
[UPDATE - 16 December: After several attempts to communicate via telephone, we finally had a very nice conversation last night. It was great catching up on 25+ years and comparing notes about our lives.
It was cathartic for both to have this discussion and to see where we have landed at this point, after so many fits and starts.
One interesting note, on the Myers-Briggs scale we are both INTP, which didn't surprise me in the least.]
Meanwhile, I have been reading the blog of another old friend who turned fifty this year. He proclaims himself happy, but his postings seem to show something else: a bitterness, a longing and a questioning.
This caused me to evaluate my own life a bit and I determined (probably superficially) that I am happy where I am in my life and with my relationships and in my thoughts and feelings.
I see old friends reaching certain milestone ages and turning so introspective that it becomes a miasma of “me, me me”. I think they sense that they are that much closer to dying and death, and their surroundings and other people fade a bit in their egocentrism.
Hopefully, I have not done the same.
Hopefully the life that I have made for myself can serve as an inspiration to others; that a fulfilling, happy, shared life is possible and probable.
I mourn for others’ seemingly wasted lives (their words), overwrought with guilt, anger and blame, but realize I can only be responsible for me.
And I am content.
“Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.”
– Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse Five | (epitaph of Billy Pilgrim)