It does not matter that we are no longer 21, most of us did not even know each other at that stage of our lives. But the shared stories give life to our past and I can understand (albeit just a little) of what choices you made that brought you to this person that you are today. It is only in the sharing that I can get a glimpse of the joy and pain that molded you, and the “why” of our meeting at this point in time. We give and we take and if we are wise, we incorporate what we have taken, to pass on to someone else who will need it someday. Like a wave, we come to land and then step back to reflect.
Many, many (many) years ago I was asked to be Class Valedictorian. My teacher, John A. (Class of ’71) said that I was one of the only students who could describe succinctly, yet poetically what needed to be said. What he did not assess was my ability to stand in front of a crowd and speak. I refused, it is a decision that pops up in my thinking every now and then. What would have happened if I had agreed? As time went on, I realized that that one day was just that, one day, a few hours, a few words. I would have survived, regardless of my shaking knees.
Today, I have a friend who is breaking new ground from her old stories. She has abandoned the parts of herself that no longer serve her well, to become someone more courageous. She is a rolling stone. She is a gypsy. And however long or short this period might be, she has taken the challenge of standing at the podium and is giving the best speech of her life.
Congratulations my friend. I have learned a lot from you.
What choices do you need to make to celebrate the rest of your life?