Greetings, peeps! I’m just back from that 5 day trip to Sedona, Arizona, where I reunited with 2 old friends and one new friend. I’m sure you’ve been on pins and needles waiting to find out how THAT went, right? OK, then, I’ll dish the details, leaving out a couple of the more “special, private” times that will stay saftely sealed in the “Sedona Vault”.
At the airport in Phoenix, I was the last to arrive, and immediately knew that this trip was going to be a good one. I admit, I was initially shaking like the girl who is about to meet a blind date for the first time, but aside from sporting a few more wrinkles and a little more weight, we really hadn’t changed that much. I would’ve recognized Bertha’s beautiful smile anywhere, and Debbie? The minute she opened her mouth to holler to me, tons of old memories came rushing back. More buried memories were uncovered when, after arriving at the condo we were to share, Deb pulled out her old scrapbook and yearbooks. OMG, we hooted until the wee hours!
Quite a bit of time over those 5 days together was spent in deep discussion of who we had been “back when” and where we’d gone since. And I’m not talking about geographical moves here, I’m talking deep shit. From insecure teenagers with a lot to prove to the world to 50-somethings who are maybe still trying to prove ourselves, to ourselves, we had each taken vastly different journeys to ge to where we are today.
During the day, we would head off in seperate directions to do whatever we wanted to do, with no expectations or prescribed itineraries. As Bertha so eloquently put it, “we have options!” Some of us hiked, some shopped, some hung out and relaxed surrounded by the magical red rock formations that make Sedona such a magical place . Come afternoon, we all came back together over a glass (or several glasses) of wine, sharing tales of our adventures of the day.
The comfort that comes with being old friends (and Sharon, the new friend who we dubbed our “Lil’ Sistah”) brings with it saftey and an acceptance that I find very hard to describe. From foot rubs to late nite pajama parties, singing at the tops of our lungs (and video taping it!) to crying on shoulders then laughing so hard we nearly peed on ourselves, it all came naturally. It is very liberating not to have to censor yourself for fear of rejection. (Shit, if we were gonna reject each other, I figure it would’ve happened 30-some odd years ago, right?)
How many people actually get the chance to reconnect with old friends in such a way that lifts your spirits and warms your heart? I think a LOT of people have that chance. We just, for one reason or another, don’t take that chance. We allow life to get in the way. And what a shame. Because for me at least, I have a newly gained sense of acceptance and a warm feeling of being loved not just for who I am, but for who I was, way back when I considered myself pretty unlovable.
Thanks, girls, for giving me that gift. I love you, and I look forward to paying it forward.