Sunday, January 22, 2012

High School Reminiscing

Recently I had a Facebook conversation with a friend of mine from my high school days. Now, before we go any further I want to describe our relationship and paint a picture of how mismatched this friendship may appear on the surface. I was your typical nerdy teen girl –complete with bad skin and glasses. Well, to be fair, I got contacts in 10th grade but somehow didn’t get the memo that bushy eyebrows were NOT a fashion statement. And, speaking of fashion, I’ve always had a soft spot for trendy clothes so, like Sarah Jessica Parker on Square Pegs, I never met a mini skirt-leg warmers-jazz shoes-funky sunglasses look I didn’t like. This combination was probably not your typical girl-next-door beauty look. Think Nia Vardalos/Anne Hathaway - before their magical on-screen transformations - looks. Yep, that was me.


Seriously, what is UP with that hair?


My friend, on the other hand, was beautiful in a very All-American Girl kind of way. We’re talking Homecoming Queen, Miss Senior, Miss America, Miss World, Miss All-Planets, Miss Boys-Always-Wanted-Her-To-Smile-At-Them kind of looks here. What the heck?

Anyway, she and I somehow gravitated toward each other. Yes, at some level I probably thought the boys would notice me more if I hung out with her. (And let me interject something here. Forget about grades and college acceptance letters and all that other mumbo-jumbo that grown-ups want you to think is important to teens. High school is all about getting members of the opposite sex to notice you. Period. Everything else is superfluous.) Somewhere along the line, though, I realized what an amazing, kind person my friend was and, when her boyfriend died in a car accident right before we began our senior year, it suddenly dawned on me that even the Beautiful People have pain.

Which brings me back to our most recent conversation. In spite of all her inner- and outer-beauty (and believe me, she’s still very easy on the eyes, as they say), my dear friend has had more than her share of Life’s setbacks. Haven’t we all? I “checked in” on her to see how she was doing and we started talking about our lives today versus Back in The Day (OK, to be fair, I started talking about the Back in The Day stuff). Anyway, I started to offer her some words of encouragement and found myself reflecting on how I have changed (yet still stayed the same) since high school. And I came up with a list of some things along those lines, but I decided not to print it because I remembered, it’s not about me. It’s about how all of us have the opportunity to touch lives and, maybe, make the world a better place.

And this is exactly what my friend does and hopes to continue to do: make others feel good about themselves. Every time I see her or talk to her on Facebook she has a smile for me and something kind to say. She has a special knack for finding the good in others and drawing your attention to those qualities that make people special. She genuinely loves her family and friends, but sometimes she forgets to be just as kind and supportive to herself as she is to others.

So, my long overdue gift to my friend is to remind her how special and amazing she is as a person. Yes, she is still very pretty (and yes, I’m still a little jealous – which is not actually a bad thing ‘cause it motivates me to continue to take care of myself and try to stay healthy and fit). I have always been proud to call her my friend, and she continues to inspire me to treat others with kindness and focus on the positive instead of the negative.

Thank you, my friend, for being the wonderful human being you are. I hope your journey through life always brings you to your “happy place” and you continue to embrace all your many wonderful qualities. After all, you deserve it after all the people you’ve touched with that incredible smile of yours.

Hugs!

5 comments:

  1. That's what I love about Facebook. It's a window so to speak of other's lives that I can peek in and I find it odd that even those I disliked in highschool, I find myself wishing happiness now for no other reason than they were a part of my life. It is encouraging that most of whom I've caught up with are successful in their own ways, even if it's in their own small world and this makes me smile.

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  2. Awww, what a nice sentiment! I love catching up with old friends, too, and it's so fun to see how we've all grown and to see each other's families. I, too, wish nothing but the best for all my friends - old and new! Thanks for reading!

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  3. Dearest Dawn,
    First, I MUST start off by saying YOU are a BEAUTIFUL butterfly or a wonderfully, delightful, lovely gerber daisy that has blossomed far beyond the beauty ever expected. I can never thank you for the all the kind words but even further beyond the words, how much you have touched my heart. YOU have always been a great friend, a great listener, through the years, near or far! I always remember you being so hilarious, so smart, pretty and always putting a smile on my face. I am so glad to call you a friend and so thankful that you have touched my life. School friends are funny like that and especially our graduating class. It doesn't matter how many years pass by.....we all just pick up right where we left off without ever skipping a beat. I admire the girl you were and even more so the strong, powerful and uplifting woman that you have become. Thank you for your friendship and I hope that I am always here for you as you have been for me.

    DAVEDA :)

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    1. Mwah! :-) You deserve nothing but the best because you are still one of the loveliest, most delightful, open, and sincere people I have ever known. I agree completely about how we have all been able to continue being friends across the miles and years. It is something I will always cherish.

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