Saturday, July 11, 2009

Looking Back with New Eyes

It’s been a curiously nostalgic and reflective week, thanks to a string of out of the blue, blast from the past encounters.

The first was a random Facebook chat with an old High School friend - someone with whom I’d had a passing but happy acquaintance before changing schools in the second year. Our bonding at the time may have had more to do with a sense of solidarity over the fact that we both had unusual names than anything else, but this is as good a reason as any to be friends when you’re 12.

Looking back at those days tends to make me feel slightly uncomfortable. I always considered myself an outsider, never having the right clothes or attitudes to be one of the gang, but also never wanting to compromise my convictions to fit in. That in mind, it was touching and somewhat heartening to be told by someone who knew me then that they’d always remembered me for not having followed the crowd, and now respected my then alien opinions.

Apparently I once told her (though I don’t remember this) that it was far better to be proud of getting a bargain than to show off about how much you paid for something. In the materialistic climate of the 1980s, this was revolutionary thinking indeed; these days it doesn’t seem so radical.

The very next night, another chat window popped up from one of my old theatre cronies - someone I’ve known for going on two decades. We shared many a crazy night back in the day, but were never really what you’d call bosom buddies. I was a few years younger than most of the crew at the time, and always felt that they tolerated my presence rather than embraced it. So it was nice to hear that he apparently thought my youthful pontificating and feminist views endearing.

How strange that the lingering insecurities of youth can be so easily dispelled by such spontaneous and unexpected conversations.

The nostalgia trip continued when on Thursday night I was in my local, getting ready for pub quiz, and in walked a face I haven’t seen since Sixth Form. We exchanged the usual ‘how’ve you been?’ ‘what are you doing now?’ formalities, then quite unprompted, he uttered the three magic words: “you’ve aged well”. I could have kissed him right there. As if that delicious little ego-boost wasn’t more than enough to make my night, Ant and I rather embarrassingly went and won the quiz with our team of two. And we hadn’t even done any research.

That night I slept marvellously and dreamed that I bumped into a friend from university with whom I have sadly lost touch. That is one era from which I don’t have any particular hang-ups in need of resolving, but it would be nice to see her again all the same. Sandra Borra, if you’re reading this, come out from hiding and join me on my trip down memory lane; it’s turning out to be really rather enlightening.

1 comment:

  1. Nice.

    I wonder if we all have a certain person from the past we'd like to track down - for me it would be one of my uni housemates who went off to Australia only to be never heard from again...

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