The Golden Years

Today I had the good fortune to be reunited with two very dear friends from the past. It had been a while. A very very long while.

Of course I was intermittently in touch with them throughout the years, but I mean these people were a constant in my daily life 17-15 years ago. Way before college. Before everyone gained their independence and subsequently lost their innocence.

I was 15 when we all formed a group. It was basically a huge chunk of all the Indian kids in Sacramento uniting into a big old friend circle. This circle would last for another two three years before some, and eventually all, would go their separate ways to their respective colleges, each forming new circles of their own. Eventually most of us lost touch, some only intermittently catching up. Sadly today our group no longer exists in the way that it did back then which is crazy because back then, on a daily basis, they meant the world to me! And for the sake of memories, today I realized they still do.

Today my friend circle consists mainly of people who have only known me for the past 2-3 years, maybe 5-6 years at that. The point being that they all know me as I am today, post all my traumas, post all the ups and downs of my life. They don’t know me. They don’t know what made me who I am today. They didn’t live through those time with me. And I too became so involved in my present day life that even I forgot who I used to be a mere 15 years ago.

15 years. Shit.

I was the complete opposite of who I am today. A baby. A baby with plans and so many barriers and expectations that would come to crush me in the following years. Of course I didn’t know that then.

But I don’t mean for that to sound dark. No, the truth is, I LOVED that version of myself. I was confident. Maybe too much, but that confidence was so important! I knew what I wanted, what I believed, my self worth… and most importantly I was never confused. My whole life still laid out ahead of me and whatever I wanted was mine to have if I just reached for it! Innocent, young, fresh, and with a zeal for life. So much potential… that was me! I smile now, envious of my past self, at how carefree that time was. Before the sadistic cruel universe exposed itself to me, like it does to us all. Of course, eventually I grew up, stood up, dusted my behind off and bounced back….

… But talking to these old friends today took me back. It had been so long but suddenly it was as though we had travelled back in time. Regardless of who we are today, I only remembered that version of them… and they only remembered that version of me.

It was like hitting a reset button to function better. To remember.

It was so nice to remember that there was a version of me that was light before the darkness. Innocent before the experience. Here were the people who knew me for who I truly am/was before the world jaded me.

It gave me hope. Because I know that girl is still me. She’s still in there. She still has the world laid out ahead of her!

And as brief as it may have been, always is, it’s nothing short of magic. Sometimes when we need a break from our mundane busy adult lives … it’s nice to be able to grab that friend from an era you want to remember and just travel back to that time with them ✨

To life long friendships, to the people who knew the original version of me… cheers 🍻

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