My dear friend, Dana, sent over these photos today. Said she found them on an old computer, her first MAC, the one from years and years ago. I looked at them for a long time, nostalgic and laughing and lastima-ing because it seems like just yesterday we were these kids. We ate Hot Tamales until our tongues got bright red and we flirted with bartenders and we danced even if it was just the 2 of us. But we’re not kids anymore.
We’re grown-ups. With marriages and homes and plans. And it breaks my heart wide open to imagine these girls - her and me, me and her - older now and nesting now and trying now to be the sturdy adults who we used to marvel at. Who we used to dream about becoming. Who we used to admire because they had it all together.
Wait! I don’t have it all together! And I don’t know how or when it happened, and I don’t know if maybe everybody feels this way, but I am often lost and just pretending. I want to be young again and play, and let my youth be a good excuse for not knowing what to do or how my life should look.
I stare at these pictures, these carefree goofballs, and I feel a pang for the past because maybe I never matured past 13. And I feel a fear for the future because it’s really up to me now, it’s in my hands, the time has come. And can I do it? Dana is doing it. There’s not much more time for me to waste. So what will I do that matters, that has meaning, that makes the growing up count?
A message comes to me out of nowhere, and it feels like a miracle: Dana and I are still friends, still silly, still eating Hot Tamales. And moving forward is way less scary with someone like that by your side.
p.s. ONE good thing about getting older: no more smoking.