Sometimes, our past has a funny way of catching up with us. Maybe it’s not a past that we know well, but a past that graced by without us fully knowing. Something that we were only remotely familiar with, but we did know of its existence. Like a ghost that floats by playing some sort of game.
We meet people multiple times in our lives. Everyone has a purpose of their timing, whether or not they know it. Occasionally, we see someone initially and think nothing about them, but years down the road we both can mature and an interest builds. Maybe we start out as friends and it takes time and a load of really bad relationships to find out that we’re perfect for one another. There’s a chance that we could have had a slight interest in the person, but never pursued anything. We see them later and their attractiveness has only increased.
But during these times of meeting people over the course of our many phases of life, no one waits around for that long-lost ghost to come back. Because we think of them simply as that. Just a person who passed through our lives at one moment. With this in mind, people move on, get married, have kids, start lives where we are no longer involved. We no longer know them as a person. Maybe we think that we missed our chance for this incredibly great person or maybe that at some point we should have tried. And we kick and curse ourselves for not looking at what was right in front of us. Hmm…but don’t let the married life deter you.
Now, I’m not an advocate for adultery. But people get divorced. It’s the reality of life. And that reality is 50% of marriages. And I’m not one for ALWAYS sending bad juju vibes, but sometimes it’s OK to take someone’s marriage with a grain of salt. I found out that a guy I knew several years before got married, and at first I was a little disappointed. We never dated, I never fully had an interest in him, but I respected him for his character and discipline with his career ambitions. When I realized that he got married (and it seemed like a beautiful wedding), I felt disappointed that I never had that chance to even just see what could have happened. Then, I thought, “Oh, well it may not last. Whatevs.” Ultimate petty response? Yeah, probably.
My alma mater for undergrad has a reunion ceremony every couple of years for the black students who come back and want to reconnect with other classmates and also network with older alumni. It’s a fairly large celebration. We have parties, wine tastings, professional events, cookouts, and a number of other activities to bring a variety of classes together. Despite the cost to attend most of the events, the reunion is pretty fun and can help with professional and personal endeavors.
Nonetheless, plenty of times I’ve heard from fellow alumni about their attempts to rekindle some sort of romance with old flames. People come back after several years, bragging about their marriages and families but wind up divorced a few reunions down the road. Others who may have tied the knot don’t even bring their spouses. Maybe because the spouses didn’t attend school there and it would be awkward because they wouldn’t know anyone else. Or maybe the spouses don’t attend because the partner is a scumbag and knows that the reunion is meant for hooking up with old flames from their college years. Yep, it’s pretty much a dorm party all over again.
With this reunion approaching within the next couple of months, it makes me wonder who I will see that maybe I wish I could have reconnected. Or who will be there already looking for a different life direction than what they were expecting after graduation? Reunions have the ability to make us relive our younger selves, delving us into a nostalgia when all seemed magical and maybe easier. They also have the power to make us realize how stupid we were in the past and possibly how stupid we still are, or how we’ve smartened up and vow to not make the same decisions.
I’m sure there will be those people who have grown into themselves. Found what makes them most attractive and what type of shoes look best with their favorite jacket. Found a way to wear their hair so that their ears don’t look as big. Finally discovered how to stop the drip from hanging from their nose or a way to clear their dry, patchy skin. And I’m sure that during this phase of self-discovery, they met someone who put up with the troubling and uncomfortable journey and saw them transform into a swan. Maybe they are still with the person; maybe they have kids together. But, as my mother always taught me, if there’s something you want, you can’t give up. Marriage is not the end of the world. One out of two chances, it won’t last. So, plot your game of chess accordingly and make sure all of your eggs are not sliding in that one basket.