Back to My Roots

Someday I’ll write about my love of Facebook.  Right now, just know that it’s brought a lot of people back into my life…and I’m glad.

I was at Amelia’s Kindergarten Open House this morning and a little girl with slightly messy hair walked in wearing a flowered dress over flowered pants, a leopard print jacket & sparkly shoes.  All I could think was “Wow, she’s Amelia’s soul-mate.”  I started thinking about how the kids in Amelia’s Kindergarten class could be her life-long best friends.  Then I got a little sad because, if it weren’t for Facebook, I wouldn’t be in touch with ONE of my Kindergarten classmates.  Is that unusual?  I’m not sure.  I do know that it would make a lot more sense if my family had moved away at some point. 

I never moved, but I DID change schools in seventh grade.  It was the right choice, a much bigger school with more resources and more opportunity, but I lost touch with all of the people I’d known in elementary school.  They were the people I’d taken swimming lessons with, spent summer programs with, played softball with.  Why did we lose touch?  Who knows.  Maybe because I was the girl who thought she was too cool because she went to a bigger school.  Maybe we just didn’t know the same people anymore and had nothing to talk about.  Maybe being 12 is just a really awkward time.  Whatever the reason, it’s sad to think about it now.  Add to that going away to college and then moving to Atlanta and there was really never any hope.  Our paths had split.

Fortunately, we DO have things like Facebook so I can have some semblance of a reconnection with the people I used to know.  In a lot of cases, it’s just an accepted friend request.  But every so often I venture to comment on a photo or write on someone’s wall.  If nothing else, we know that the other person is there IF we want to get reacquainted.

So, believe it or not, this is what I was thinking about today when I got an instant message from a guy I knew when I was young.  Pat is the oldest brother of my friend Erica, who was one of my BFFs in late elementary school and early middle school.  I haven’t talked to her in years and years and I’d friended Pat a while back thinking that I could ask him for her contact info (which I never got around to doing).  I’d left a comment on his wall over the weekend and so he’d replied and messaged to say Hi.  We started chit-chatting and I randomly made a comment about the computer lab at Amelia’s future school and how I remember being in Kindergarten and the school having ONE computer that they wheeled around from class to class.  His response was “Yeah, I remember that.”  Well, of course he did…he was THERE…and he was older, so he remembered it even better.  I realized that this was the first time in a long time that I’d referenced something from my early years (to somebody other than my family) and the person I was talking to knew EXACTLY what I was talking about.  My friends from work or college or high school would probably have comparable experiences….but they don’t know exactly what I’m talking about.  They weren’t there.  Even my husband doesn’t have that exact point of reference.  It was a strange realization and it snuck up on me a bit.  Our conversation went on and there were a couple more references dropped….names I hadn’t thought about in years.  It was comforting, like walking into your old school and having it smell exactly the same.  I’m sure that Pat has no idea what a big deal it was to me, but I spent the rest of the day feeling like I’d been given a shot of home.  

It made me excited for Amelia to go to school and make life-long friends.  It made me excited to re-connect with my long-long swimming lessons friends.

And now I have to go e-mail Erica (because I finally got her e-mail address)……

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Simple Coincidences

I was skimming through my Facebook newsfeed tonight when I came across my friend Seth’s profile.  I went to high school with Seth, we had the same bus-stop, but I’m not sure that I’ve actually seen or talked to him since we graduated.  He’s now in California managing Topo Ranch…sweet life.  So, I was looking at Seth’s profile (I’d actually come to it from  Topo Ranch’s Facebook page), and I noticed that his website was listed as www.simplyseth.com.  I found this hilareous (for obvious reasons), so I decided to just check it out and see what was there.

Hey, guess what….

SIMPLYSETH IS USING THE SAME THEME AS SIMPLYJESS!!!!

Yeah….same background, same header, same cool-ass car in a tunnel.  Now, I know that this is a standard WordPress theme and many other people have it too.  But we came from a small school in a small valley in Vermont and we went completely seperate ways….and we’re apparently sharing a bit of the same brain. 

To be fair, he had his set-up WAY before me (years).  Maybe I secretly idolize Seth.  Maybe it’s such a secret that *I* didn’t even know about it. 

He hasn’t been blogging lately.  He’s been busy selling cool T-shirts (go buy one).  I guess it’s a good thing.  I’d hate for there to be an East Coast-West Coast battle….especially because it would probably be pretty, um, Simple.

Strangely, this was not my only bizarre “small world” connection today.  I was raving (via Twitter) about the ecobags  that I’d just received in the mail and my friend Margot replied and said ‘Hey, the CEO is my cousin!’.  I’d ordered the bags through a third party vendor that had absolutely no connection to my friend from college (who now lives in MA).  Are you kidding me?

Yeah, I know that the internet makes the whole world smaller….but I still love a good “Wow, what are the chances???” story.

BTW, if you’re on Facebook, become a fan of Topo Ranch.  They’re shooting for 5000 fans right now. 

And check out ecobags because, well, you always need a reusable bag.  I bought 3 of the string bags- 2 totes & a long-handled.  I’ll let you know what I think once I get a chance to use them.

Nothing But Love

Recently, I’ve been noticing that a lot of my friends are having a hard time.  These are friends from all different areas of my life, the problems are diverse & the severity is all over the board.  There’s no consistency, no pattern, no reason that they’d all be feeling this way at exactly the same time.  Basically, things just suck.

I’ll admit that I’ve dug myself into my own little hole lately.  Maybe it’s the time of year…the span from March to May has always had a lull in it for me.  I may be the only person that doesn’t really like Spring at all.  I was a little bummed when I realized that Z would be born in April.  It’s just not my favorite month.  Maybe that’s why he HAD to be born then. 

Anyway, I’ve been in a slump.

Over the weekend, I got kicked out of my funk a bit.  I spent some time with my family and then I spent some time with some friends.  I had a good cry & had a really good talk with a friend (the 2 overlapped actually).  And then that was it.  I cleared the air with a couple people on Monday, got some stuff accomplished on Tuesday.  Suddenly, BOOM….I’m feeling better.  Weird. 

Once I started checking in with my friends, I noticed that they had a lot going on too.  While I was hibernating, a really good friend made a really difficult, major decision in her life.  I wish that I’d been there a little more for her, but she seems okay.  Another friend told me that she was exhausted from being the one that was always helping people…and that sometimes she needed help too.  A third friend is beginning to address some unresolved issues she has with her family…things have come to a head.

At work the other day, I was talking to a friend with a life situation eerily similar to mine.  She’s a working mom, she and her husband both work crazy schedules and never see each other, they have no family near-by & she just feels like she’s treading water with no boat in sight.  I can COMPLETELY relate.  We talk about it every so often.  One will be talking, trying to find just the right metaphor, and the other will be nodding vigorously and saying “YEAH!  EXACTLY!”.  Damn…I wish we were neighbors. 

While talking to this co-worker, I mentioned that I’d noticed that a lot of people around me seemed to be having a hard time with various things.  I know that the economy has a lot of people feeling down, but this seems different.  Unemployment isn’t the issue, everybody who needs a job has one.  Nobody’s about to lose their house or their car.  I guess it’s a possibility that the economy is indirectly to blame.  The evening news has been a bit of a downer (more so than usual) and when you’re surrounded by unhappiness and frustration it’s bound to rub off a bit.

Later that evening I noticed a status update on Facebook by a girl I went to high school with.  She was a few years younger, my sister’s year, and I never knew her THAT well….but she played field hockey with me and I always liked her.  Her status read: “… is physically and mentally exhausted.  Will I ever truly be happy again?”.  When I read this, it made me really sad.  She has a young daughter and on a couple of occasions we’ve exchanged wall posts about the chaos of raising a toddler.  I knew that she’s been dealing with a lot, but honestly have no idea what happened to bruise her spirit.

I live with this insane fear of not being remembered, or overstepping the line of familiarity with people from my past.  I remember (most) people really well and could pick up an old inside joke 10 years later or make an obscure reference from high school.  Of course, that freaks some people out and makes me look like an obsessed stalker.  Because of this, I don’t always respond to old friends’ posts.  I don’t want to come on too strong or make them feel self-conscious. 

This time though, when I read this update, I just felt that a response was necessary.  I thought about how many people I knew who were feeling pain and I wanted to help.  I wanted to make her feel better.  I wanted to make all my friends feel better.  I wrote to her and told her that I was sending her good thoughts.  She immediately wrote back and thanked me.  It was so simple, but I think that it brought happiness to both of us.

Sometimes you need to bring  joy to others in order to find joy in yourself.  That’s the point I’ve hit- I’ve come through a rough patch and now I want to pull others up with me.  I can be there for the people I care about.  It’s the one way I know that I can help.

It’s nothing but love.