Echoes from another life

by DaniGirl on September 28, 2005 · 8 comments

in Uncategorized

I got an e-mail from an old friend today, and it made me smile in a wistful “been a long time” kind of way. Many moons ago, before we got married and got to work populating suburbia, Beloved and I used to hang out with Ralph and a bunch of others every Friday and most Saturday nights. Back in the day, we lived in a downtown neighbourhood in a gorgeous little apartment at the top of a steep flight of stairs. We hung out with Ralph and the gang at the Clocktower Pub or Wall Street or other disreputable establishments, drinking microbeers and screwdrivers and talking about indie animation and 1960s TV sit-coms and whatever movie we had just been to see.

I miss those days, and I miss those guys (and girls, but they were mostly guys and even the girls – me included – would be more than happy to be considered “one of the guys” anyway). Even though we still see each other every couple of months, and even though each reunion is filled with genuine affection, our lives are so different that sometimes it’s hard to find common ground. Most of them are still single, childless, and following a different kind of dream.

Ralph just wrapped up shooting on his first-ever indie film, a horror short called Hidden Darkness. I’m so happy for him, because even back in the day this was something he was working toward. The credits read like a who’s-who of the old days, and as I read it I have pangs of regret that I couldn’t have been a part of the fun. Then reality thunders in with a reminder that I go to bed most days probably around the same time that filming got underway, and that a film set is probably not the safest place for a pair of boys who manage to find trouble regularly in my meticulously babyproofed kitchen, let alone on a gore-splattered indie movie set.

I was going to say I’m not the girl I used to be, but I don’t think that’s quite right. Even back then, I was biding my time until we were in the right place to have a family. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted out of life and it would be trite to say I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m the same girl, just a little bit more tired than I used to be. I guess that happens as you slide through your thirties, kids or not.

It’s curious to hear from old friends still stomping the same grounds you left behind. Getting together with these guys is like an echo from another life. The sweet irony is that although our lives are so very different, both Ralph and I have fulfilled our heart’s desire. We both have the thing we most wanted back in those beer soaked conversations at the pub. I have my babies, and he has his movies. It’s a good life.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Running2Ks September 28, 2005 at 1:38 pm

That is so sweet. It’s great to reconnect.
Reminds me of The Road Not Taken. Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like to fulfill earlier “dreams”, and then I get over it too. I do miss the “one of the guys” days. Sometimes I feel like Snack Mom to my husband’s friends πŸ˜‰

2 BeachMama September 28, 2005 at 1:56 pm

That is awesome Dani. I just ran into an old girlfriend on Sunday, we went to school together way back when (starting in Kindergarten). It is good to see old friends to say hi and see where everyone is today. So great that the two of you have fulfilled those dreams. I too miss those pub days, but wouldn’t trade these park days for anything in the world. There will always be a pub around the corner to visit.
Anna – thinking of the new one not so far from either of our houses πŸ˜‰

3 SilverCreek Mom September 28, 2005 at 2:08 pm

I often wonder about the people I used to see in high school. I don’t actaully want to see them but just find out how their lives have turned out and if they are happy. I have 3 I see regularly and I think I only think this way beacause Miranda is attending the same high school I went to so I’m in those hallowed halls quite often.
Every once and while I ish I could hang out and have a blast with my friends the way we used to. BUt then I come to realization I do do that and once and awhile is enough for me. #) Psssfffftttt…talk to me when Your MY AGE!

4 geekchick September 28, 2005 at 6:05 pm

I have been thinking alot about what my old friends are doing. I have caught myself feeling very melancholy lately thinking about how much I miss the “drinking” days. Then I realized, those days were full of not so bright ideas, chances taken and scary consequences.
Yes, they were a lot of fun. Yes, I laughed a lot back then. But I am a different person at 31 than at 21. The same things that would keep me laughing for hours then, would probably horrify me now.
So, like you, I have figured out that 21 is a good “time to remember”, but I am enjoying my life now just as much.

5 twinmomplusone September 29, 2005 at 1:55 am

Time and place for everything:
LOVED my bar-hopping, hang out till weee hours, discuss everything and anything at length,party hardy πŸ˜‰ pre-kid life and definitely get pangs of nostalgia reminiscing about those moments and get to relive those sensations every once in a while like in a week-end getaway with girlfriends πŸ˜‰
I LOVE my SAH life with 3 kids beyond words
I believe one needs to go through this “partying” stage.I worry about those people who have never done it cuz then they do it later on in life which can turn out much uglier.And I also worry about this other breed of people whom dh and I refer to as the “timewarps” (know a few of those) who never outgrow this stage πŸ™
you’re right Dani, it’s a good life

6 nancy September 29, 2005 at 2:55 am

I so enjoy catching up with ‘lost’ friends…have a few very dear and close friends still from when we were very young (5 years old) and also a gang from high school. I am so blessed to have such lifelong friends even though we may or may not share certain parallels.
I just had high school reunion (84) and was such a blast seeing everyone again. And everyone says ‘now of course we’ll stay in touch’ and have I heard from anyone new?? Nope…in another 10-20 years I guess.

7 jo(e) September 29, 2005 at 12:43 pm

Kind of a bittersweet feeling, isn’t it?
I felt that way when my kids were little. But now that they are older, I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. I sometimes spend weekends with just a bunch of old friends, talking and hanging out all night. I don’t think I paid enough attention to my own needs and dreams when my kids were little, but as they get older, I am getting better at keeping a balance in my life.

8 Beanie Baby September 29, 2005 at 5:22 pm

Yep–what jo(e) said.
Both. I’m so indecisive I always end up going for both anyway, so now I pretend it’s intentional.

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