So, I accepted because she was someone I was fond of and hadn't ever connected with since.
She responded quickly saying she remembered me and that she did indeed invite me. She was brand new on FB after all these years. She said she friended two people from her time there in Indonesia....I was one of them. Frankly, I was surprised... we were not that close and with us both of us being 12 years old, I wondered what it was that made her remember me. She said she just had this nice image of me and that I was a nice guy.
It was fun to connect and catch up. We did that in one email. But then she started asking me questions about things I remembered about her. She was very curious. I started racking my brain and even looked in my year book. A few things came back and I shared those with her. She then seemed to take a big leap of faith and then shared that people her whole life had told her she was "aloof" and "cold and this now bothered her. She was exploring a way out, trying to figure who she was now in her 50's. She was hoping that reaching out to people she knew in her life might help her find the answers.....
Hmm..... "How did we get here? I wondered". Why me? Why now after 40 years.....? We were 12!! Not 16 or 17, but 12! We were like..... little kidlets at best!!
Once I shrugged off the immediate questions I started to let the reality and seriousness of her pursuit distill down from my brain into my heart. Wow! How courageous for her to take this on... to reach out to people like myself.... hardly someone she new but based upon one shred of a positive perception she took the chance.....Because remembering who she really is, is totally worth that chance!! Wouldn't you...?
The more I thought about this, the more I realized I have been on this same journey for quite a while, maybe my whole life. Maybe you are too? It made me realize that we are all just 12 years old inside.....still even now..... struggling to sort the pieces of our life's puzzle. Anyone that knew us when we were at whatever age we think will help us know who we were then and that maybe that will help us know who we are today.....because somehow, in life we have ironically forgotten something about this in all of our busy comings and goings. Maybe others have figured it out. I know I haven't.... I feel I am getting closer for sure but I can't do it without others.
So, 40 years later..... what a beautiful gesture... ask a friend for help, to better find oneself..... What an awesome purpose. I feel very lucky and blessed to have been invited to re-friended an old friend again from the 7th grade. We will get to know each other all over again and in the end... we will remain true to who ever we were then. I imagine we will find that we are still ourselves now.... and I can't say if Teri or I will find any new answers, but I can say......that it will have been worth all the while and I will always be forever more glad.... that this came to be because of a single, solitary and simple lingering memory of.......
"I remember you as nice"