Tin Bartolome

Posted at Mar 18 2016 01:33 PM

For about an hour today, I had the chance to get in touch with my old self— my schoolgirl self. I never realized how happy and carefree those days were.

I had coffee with a childhood friend and classmate (from kindergarten through high school). We also went to the same university but not the same college. Our mothers were friends and I remember having slept at her house once or twice. She has relocated abroad and took a brief vacation with her husband.

In that hour, we went back more than thirty years and shared updates. I was deeply touched when she showed me a small book I gave her for her birthday decades ago—especially because her mom kept that book for her, along with letters she received from friends.

Even after she left, memories kept coming to me as I waited for my husband to pick me up. It was as if I was watching a movie—a movie of my life.

I have always believed that we are what we’ve been through. And this chance to look back reminded me of the cuts and scrapes I survived, those that left me scarred and those I am still trying to conquer.

Looking back allowed me to take a closer look at who I am—or who I think I am. The time spent with a childhood friend brought back precious moments and insights on how I got to be this way. It was like taking a look at the roots and growth rings of a tree. The brief period also reminded me of many things to be grateful for.

As we shared stories, I realized I was not the only one who chose whom to reconnect with. And like me, my friend believed that it was important to get over negative feelings caused by past incidents, apologize if we caused them or simply avoid those who dwell on those unfortunate events.

I now know why we’ve remained friends despite the distance and the length of time we lost touch. And it was amazing to see that little book that her mom kept for her all these years.

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