When reading the prompts from the #reverb10 project, I typically go with my first instinct and the following is no exception:
December 16 - Friendship. How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick):
When I first signed up for Facebook in 2009 I had a list of people I wanted to search and find. Carolyn was one of the people on the top of my list. We became friends in 6th grade and maintained our friendship throughout high school. We went to different colleges and that's when we lost touch. Even though more than 20 years have passed since we talked, I thought about Carolyn often during those years when life was happening to me. I always hoped that she was happy, successful, and having a great life.
I can not explain the joy I felt the day we found each other on Facebook. I don't remember who requested who's friendship but, either way, I was ecstatic to rekindle our communication. Carolyn and I shared a lot of experiences growing up; a lot of firsts. We went to my first concert (although I don't remember if it was her's). We talked about crushes we had on boys. We shared the awkwardness of not being one of the 'popular' kids. We weren't the 'nerds'; we weren't the 'stoners'; and we weren't the 'preppies' (70's jargon). We were what I'd like to call, 'independents'. We stood on our own and were friends with people that represented all of the clicques. By doing that, we shared a common bond.
I was amazed to find out that Carolyn had saved the letters that we would pass back and forth during our boring history class in high school. Within a week of us re-connecting I received a package from Californina; a huge manila envelope. Along with those letters, Carolyn included a detailed summary of how her life transpired after she graduated college up to the present day. I was amazed to find out about her travels and different careers. I couldn't get over the fact that she is a mother to three daughters under the age of eleven! As a mother of two boys in their teens I just had no clue. My life had been action figures, video games, and legos. Her life is dress-up, Barbie dolls, and sister-fights. We both married men named David. I'm on the east coast and she is on the west coast. The similarities and differences are pretty visible.
But the thing that Carolyn has done to enlighten me and change my perspective on the world is to document her life, in all of it's rawness, in her blog. She has shown commitment and persistence by completing 100 blog entries. She has become a better writer because some of her entries have touched my heart and made my eyes swell with tears. She has described life as a mother to daughters in such detail that I've overcome some of my disappointment at not having a daughter of my own.
While we differ in some of our opinions what Carolyn has done most for me is to reassure me that I am not alone. Carolyn has inspired me to start my own blog and to continue to work on my writing. As some of my blog entries have been painfully revealing while I try to heal from my past, Carolyn has personally wrote to me to share her experience. We have a lot in common. We've both been through pain when it comes to some of our family relationships. Carolyn made me feel like I was not alone. She reached her arms to me, stretching from one coast to another, through her writing and sharing.
Thank you, Carolyn, for your friendship and support. Thank you for writing your blog; it reinforces my connection with you. I appreciate your words and honesty. I appreciate your perspective.