When you grow up, your mom and dad always talk about what a “small world” it is. You look up at them with your big eyes thinking the entire world is small?! Heck the town you live in seems big, let alone the whole WORLD. It’s like in A Bugs Life when they are little microscopic things hanging out in the big blades of grass (Disney movie references will happen often, and are probably the only movies I can reference off the top of my head – kid at heart). Well since moving to Boston, I have to say mom and dad – you might have been on to something.
I use to live in Michigan where I went to middle school and some of high school. I moved to Connecticut my junior year and really didn’t keep in touch with too many people in my old town. So flash forward a few years and I’m at the Harpoon Beerfest in Boston this past September. I see someone who looks shockingly identical to a friend’s brother from Michigan. I think, no way – that can’t be him and even if it’s not I have to tell Kaitlin that her brother has a twin! Turns out, it was him and he had ended up moving from Michigan to go to Harvard. Even crazier, one of my best friends from middle school had also decided to take a job in Boston and she now lived ten minutes from me! Cue the soundtrack to the Disney ride, “It’s a Small World After All.”
I actually had dinner with her last night and it was insane how much had changed around us, but it felt like I was talking to my old friend. I had completely lost my southern accent (womp womp), which definitely weirded her out, but she was the same great girl I remembered from my 12th birthday party. We caught up on families, where we were in life, dating (I still owe you a post on that – can you tell I’m procrastinating?), and where everyone we grew up with was now. Some of the mean kids had karma catch up with them (I guess my parents were right about more than just the small world – shhhh don’t tell my mom), our favorite teachers were still around, old cheerleading coaches had all the latest updates on the girls we spent every afternoon with, our siblings were off to become real people and our parents were still as goofy as they were back then.
It’s funny how life all has a way of working out and surprising you. I never thought I would end up in the city or catching up on life with the girl I use to play “Pretty Pretty Princess” with after school. Its little things like that I come to appreciate a lot more as I get older. One of the common themes of my conversation with her last night was that life seemed so tough back then. The girls that wouldn’t invite you to the party, the boys who liked the popular girls instead of us, middle school/high school drama that sends every girl home in a fit of tears once or twice at least – it all seemed so important back then. Like it was the only thing that mattered and our whole lives were RUINED when the boy in math class never asked us out. I remember lying in bed closing my eyes so tight and saying “pretty please God, I’ll never ask for anything ever again if Matt just likes me!” (I’m not even ashamed to admit it, because I know almost every girl reading this did the same thing) Long story short, I guess everything has a way of working out.
Veering off from the small world theme for a minute, I look around at some of the troubles I have right now and think in five years from now is this all going to matter? The reality of it, probably not because in five years I’ll be on a whole other adventure and all these little stressors aren’t going to be what I remember. I’m going to remember the dinners with my best friends getting lost in a bottle of wine and stories for hours. Spending my whole afternoon at the Crossfit gym not because Im working out, but because I just want to spend time with some of the coolest people Ive met. The apple picking adventures with my sisters and parents, complaining that mom is taking too many pictures and dad keeps eating the apples we have. Spending hours in an old Ford Ranger on the top of a hill in my New England town getting lost in figuring out life with an old friend. Those are the things I’m going to hold on to five, ten, fifty years from now.
So take a deep breath, and look at all the good things around you. Take those memories and hold them tight in your heart. No matter how crazy life gets, those are the things that will always matter the most.