There’s something so special about “lifelong girlfriends”. You know what I mean. Those women who have known you the longest and like you anyway? Those women who met you before you really knew who you were and helped form the person you are today? Those women who know your secrets and share your history? There are some girlfriends who become your new “adult girlfriends”, but there’s something so amazingly wonderful about your girlfriends from High School.
I moved to a new town at the beginning of ninth grade. We lived in a neighborhood adjacent to the High School and began the journey of meeting people, finding friends, and trying desperately not to be a dork. I tried out for the Marching Band (a huge deal in my new hometown) and didn’t make it that year. I played in the Orchestra, tried out for (and made) the appropriate basketball and volleyball teams, and settled into our new church youth group. I made the Marching Band in my 10th grade year and decided to be the volleyball manager when I became interested in participating in our HS musicals. I was a Mat Maid (who came up with such a weird name for wrestling managers?) and sang in our church musical productions. I was busy and loved it… and I was blessed to some of the most wonderful women along the way.
During college, I didn’t spend a lot of time at home… I was busy with all the things that commanded my attention at that time. After all, these were the women who would help me figure out how to become an adult. With college completed, my attention was commanded by my first job and then my engagement/wedding, followed quickly by years away as I began to carve out my life as an adult. Being a wife and a mom gave me an identity, but my friendships were primarily child-wife centered. I had some friends who met me as an individual, but I was most seen in one of those familiar roles. I didn’t miss being back in my hometown… until this past reunion weekend when I got reacquainted with the women I met over thirty years ago.
Yes… it’s been thirty years since we graduated from High School. There have been many births, deaths, weddings, divorces, children, grandchildren, moves, returns, and LIFE. We’ve each lived the past thirty years, with varying amounts of contact with one another, but this past reunion was something really special.
I have no idea if it was just the reach of Facebook that made this reunion work so well, but I do know that I had the most incredible time reconnecting with these women. Yes… there were men in our class and yes… there were a bunch of men at our reunion, but it was the women who made the weekend so amazingly special. To me, it felt as if we all fell into a familiarity that would have taken days to create under different circumstances. We laughed until we cried… we danced any and every line dance that the DJ played for us… we sang (shouted) song lyrics that had us laughing all over again. We did drink (wow… that flavored moonshine was amazing) but it was the fact that we were together that was important. We hadn’t seen one another, as a collective group, in 30 years yet we connected in a way that I think was really special.
All too soon, our weekend was over. We went back to our respective lives and vowed to keep in touch. Thankfully, one of us decided to hold us all to that promise… and started a FB chat group we now call “My girls of CHS”. I cannot tell you how much I love this idea.
Being able to continue to keep in contact with these women, as often as we can, is such a blessing. They connect me to my roots… they keep me grounded… and they love me because they know me, and have known me, for most of my life. These are my Lifelong Girlfriends… and I am blessed to have each one of you in my life.