Hollywood was a different world thirty years ago when I grew up here. I remember riding my bicycle to school from the tender age of six; no helmet of course, and nobody bothering to instill in me any panic about crazy drivers, too much sun or air pollution. I was blissfully naïve and always arrived to school punctual and intact. I was not harassed ad nauseum about the risks of falling off my bike on school property. My parents didn´t have to sign waivers. Nobody scared me about the perils of not locking my bicycle properly or not using SPF 50 sunblock when biking home in mid-day sun. I just did it. My parents trusted my judgement back then.
However, one thing I knew NOTHING about was concerning how to appreciate a friend. My peers and I practiced the wrong values and priorities when choosing and maintaining friends. Our parents tried to stay out of our petty school drama as we traded in a new best friend for another every week.
Today, I took a trip back into my personal history and reunited with a childhood friend after over twenty years of no direct nor indirect communication. I remember her as a kind-hearted and funny girl. Last time we were close friends we were twelve. Although we studied together at the same high school, we each had our own distinct social circles, participated in different activities, and didn’t mingle much.
Upon graduating we both intentionally severed ourselves from our over-protective upbringing and launched out into an unknown world to discover and define ourselves in another galaxy far away from our comfortable bubble. In our own right, we both became women of the world- each following her chosen destiny to different parts of the globe under distinct premises.
Now we are both back in the same part of the world; our familiar, predictable, and cozy hometown. Facebook brought us back in touch and for some reason unbeknownst to me, I instantly felt that I HAD to re-connect and get together. This is not often the norm. Most of the time, our connections via email, Facebook and other forms of computer-generated networks remain in cyberland and therefore superficial. One often doesn’t make the leap into the good old fashioned real world from this virtual utopia. And it was exhilarating to actually do so.
Our shared history creates a strong bond that connects us to our past. Although we may not any longer resemble the child we used to be, our spirit stays the same. I believe fate brought my old friend and I back together again thus giving us a second chance to properly value one another.
Perhaps I am sentimental since I abandoned my country, culture and language for almost a decade and practically blocked it out. For what reason, I do not know. I have now returned to re-evaluate my entire childhood and realize that I had it really good- and now have developed the ability to truly appreciate it all and the people that were part of it.