Recently, I had a nightmare. I was startled out of a sound sleep. It took several minutes for my eyes to adjust in the darkness, as I processed this feeling of dread that rattled my insides. It was not a visual nightmare, it was visceral.
I dreamt that I would never hug again. Without my permission, social distancing has gotten to me.
I think what may be the trigger is the multitude of random calls I have recently received from some of my oldest friends who called from out of the blue. It was clear from the moment we heard each other’s voices, despite losing touch and many years, our connection was right where we left it.
It was hard to stop smiling as we relived past adventures, literally and emotionally. During those precious years, lots of things happened. We may have loved each other, hurt each other and got into trouble with each other. All in all, we had a hand in making each other whom we have become. How gorgeous it feels to connect with those who have survived the same past that you have. We have all gone on, loved others, created families, lost spouses, parents, jobs, children, careers, health and we are all still standing. Those hectic years of youth were a piece of cake, compared to what life served us in later years. If nothing else, we can credit the past with giving us sweet perspective.
So, after we laughed and reminisced, we got off the phone dripping with promises. “More texts,” “more calls” and “please send pictures!” So far, the pictures and texts are coming in. But after the promises were made, it struck me like lightning, that in the new world, we may never hug or see each other again. The world is no longer, the world it was.
These unexpected calls were blessings, sent just in time as the days have blended together. My four walls have become a bunker, my only safety. These calls reminded me of whom I once was; outgoing, vibrant, fearless, social and healthy. These friends were the genesis of my creativity. They knew in advance, whom I could become. There is a little piece of them in everything I do and for this I want to thank them. Just to confirm, I wasn’t always a nagging mom, yelling about homework every second of the day. (My son will never believe that.)
It is true, my life was filled with freedom and deeply diverse experiences, risky encounters, moments of madness and lots of dumb mistakes. And, they all count. Those years of wild abandon have made me who I am…still. During these endless days of indecision and slight desperation, I need good memories to fill me up. I feed on the stories that remind me that all is not lost. I am still here. I’m still who I was, raucous laughter and all. I know it’s true. I have witnesses.
Wishing you fond memories of who you are.