My heart was beating faster than usual as I pulled into the driveway. There was excitement, with a bit of anxiety mixed in. Not being sure how the reunion would feel or go, I mustered my strength and kept reminding myself to just be me. There was nothing to prove, nothing to be afraid of, other than rejection which felt like that happened over 25 years ago.
I rang the doorbell and waited patiently. When she opened the door, we both had tears in our eyes. She took me into her arms and I felt us both begin to cry. We hugged for what felt like forever, telling each other how great it was to finally be together. The tears flowed easily and our conversation began right there at the front door. The connection was there, the love and friendship was still there. Not being sure where to start on recapping so many years, we just haphazardly began talking and asking each other questions. It felt natural all the same.
After the second reunion, twenty minutes later, with one other person who also had a 25 year gap in my life, it all felt normal. The five of us sat and talked, laughed, ate and drank as if it the gap didn’t exist. 1970’s music played, which allowed for reminiscing, reminding each other of stories and sharing new and current happenings as well. The gap melted away. The connection was real and palpable.
Connection is an interesting thing. Sometimes you just have it with someone and you know that no matter what happens in life, somehow they will be around you, even if you don’t see them. The connection is powerful. It can ground you and talk you off a ledge when needed. That connection has, at times in my life, also been so broken it can never be repaired, questioning if it ever existed in the first place. Or at least I thought it was irreparable.
I met someone about 7 years ago, and our connection always felt natural and powerful. We could look across a room at work and know that we were on the same page. We could talk each other off the ledge when needed and make each other laugh when necessary. We would laugh at the random texts that would cross each other, as we thought or saw something funny that we thought the other would appreciate. We knew when the other was hurting or in a dark place. The connection felt so real that we even began to talk about feelings that went beyond friends and colleagues.
Over the years, the connection began to wane. The idea of feelings became scary. There were times over the last 3 years that the connection felt non-existent and dark. Weeks would go by without any contact, when there was some it was surface. The depths of the connection felt as if they had disappeared into the night without telling us why. Anger, disappointment and at times pure jealousy took over. I would hear words that had no reality behind them, at least not backed by actions.
But, the power of connection is real. As time has marched on, our connection still exists. It looks different than it did a few years back. It is still there though. There is still a feeling of closeness, ease to talk about just about anything knowing there was no judgement (which I don’t find easily in life, I feel judged often). The sense that this person would be there for me in a minute if really needed is still there. It isn’t the great love I once thought it was, but it is a connection never to lose all the same.
There are plenty of examples in my life of a connection that was either false, or built on such a tenuous relationship that once it faltered, it was gone. I have come to understand those more, realizing that perhaps the connection wasn’t real, it was assumed, it was prayed for but it wasn’t real. It couldn’t last through gaps in life. It was gone because it was never really there to begin with.
The power of connection was in the forefront for me this weekend. It has reminded me that people can grow and change and still have a connection to you that runs deep. It reminded me that love is love and even if you don’t see people often, that love is real. It reminded me that life is full of surprises and fleeting and even if you are scared or anxious to reconnect with someone, to do it. What is the worst thing that could happen? And instead of asking that, let’s switch it to “what is the best thing that could happen?” For me, the best thing was that feeling of being wrapped in someone’s arms and feel the love, feel the tears and know that the connection was real.
The power of connection. Real, deep, and beautiful.