Tonight I saw some old friends. Some who I saw a few weeks ago...some I haven't seen in YEARS. And it was good. And I was good.
There was a time...not so long ago...when I yearned for yester-year. I wanted to go back...I wanted to change my path, "fix" some things, change my decisions. I wasn't so much living in the past as just wanting to go BACK to the past. I left my place to soon.
I loved college...I loved the town, the creativity, the people...I was surrounded by really close friends...and for a very long time I wanted it all back. I knew of course that I couldn't go back. Even if I went to the same place geographically...it had changed. 5 seconds after I left it had changed. Especially this town. It's a college town...constantly moving and changing...formed by the people there...even the time of year. It would never be the same...even while I was there no two years were the same...each had it's own unique personality as the people changed and I changed. I was different every year...slowing moving toward the woman I would become.
But even though I knew I couldn't go back...I still wished it. And then suddenly I realized something. It hadn't all been good. I was a lost soul. Sometimes pretending to have a good time and supposedly doing it on MY terms...when really I was just settling for what I thought I could get, not realizing how much I deserved and just wanting to be loved and cared for and wanted.
I went from focusing on all the good and desperately wanting it back....to only seeing the bad and being damn glad it was over and wanting no part in it.
And now? Now I can see it for what it was. I had some really amazingly wonderful good times and met some amazingly wonderful people...people I still count as my some of my closest friends. And I had bad times too. I was lost and confused...typical early twenties. (Of course...when I'm in my mid-thirties I'm sure I'll look back on my late twenties and realize how lost I was now too). I made some stupid decisions...took some risks...did things and acted in ways that weren't necessarily truly me...I am a much lower key person than the party girl from college. But I realize I don't have to throw all of it away. I can easily see the people from the past and not only remember the bad and feel uncomfortable because I'm not sure who I am around them...Now...I can be me. The person I always was and the person my true friends always knew. They probably don't even realize the difference...because they always saw what I couldn't see.
Now I value myself, I know more of what I want...what I really want. And I know who were my friends and who weren't. And those who were...I still proudly call friend.
I was a bit hard on my young 18 - 23 year old self for the past year or two...but now I can look back on her and smile with fondness. She was fun...and she did live it up. She had her heartaches...but you have to go where you've been to get where you are...and I like where I are, if you'll excuse the poor phrasing :-)
My 28th birthday was yesterday. I have lived 28 years...and while I'm not where I thought I'd be...I'm in a really good place. I feel like I have come back to me. The true me. Without the trying to fit in and the flashiness to cover up the insecurities.
I felt very comfortable with myself tonight...and not the least bit bad about leaving the party early :-)
So here's to ten years out of High School..ten years full of ups and downs and learning and growth...it's been an crazy journey....and interesting to find myself kind of back where I started...in a good way. But that's another post :-)