Like every great story, this one begins: “So, I took this Facebook quiz, right?”
But well, I did. Just now, I took a quiz entitled “How Well Do You Know Me?” I completed various tidbits about my favorite foods, movies and what my middle name is…and then I was asked to “tag” various people in my life who just might know the answers. And I went through, clicking on name after name, and I realized…I bet not one of these people are going to know anything 100 percent. Not one of them have that unique combination of being in my life day-to-day enough to know whether or not I like curly fries or regular fries, and yet still hang on to that innermost self of mine. Well, maybe a precious few. But it struck me how I have deliberately placed people into boxes and slapped labels onto them…and have a very difficult time allowing them into other places.
I have a friend once who proclaimed that I had too many friends named Sarah. Now, I have to admit, I really do have a lot of Sarah’s in my life, but I guess one can’t have too many people to grab onto throughout their life, right? Anyway, I find myself describing each of these Sarah’s as, respectively: Home Sarah, College Sarah, Home and College Sarah, and DC Sarah. God forbid Home and College Sarah ever moves to DC, because then, she might become the Triple Crown of Sarah’s, forcing all the others out of the picture altogether.
Anyway, each of these Sarah’s knows a part of me, and each one wouldn’t have a clue on how to discern the other sides of me. They know the pieces…they know me in first grade, in the youth group, in the sorority, in my first job in the big city, in my first experience with alcohol, in my first experience with…well, an illegal substance. And the list can go on, and on and on.
But yet…I think all 4 would give a different descriptor of what, say, my job is. (Although, in their defense, I have a very out-of-the-ordinary job so I can’t expect everyone to know everything about it)…but still, each would struggle with the answer. They might not be able to tell you my favorite movie if asked. Is it my fault? Theirs? No one’s really, I suppose, but the fact remains that we pigeon-hole people to certain corridors of our hearts and frankly, it can be difficult sometimes.
The other day, I told another single friend of mine from college that I was envious, in a way, of the folks we knew who had married their college or high school sweethearts. For the shared memories, the shared friendships, the shared do-you-remember-when-we-drank-that-whole-bottle moments…it’s funny to me to think that, most likely, I’ll end up marrying someone who won’t know any of these pieces of my past self. And I won’t know his, and it’s at this point in my thought-process that I begin to frantically wish to turn back the clock.
I am walking through my days right now with the sole purpose of reaching the next one in the most sane and healthy way I know how. I woke up this morning, pulled on comfy clothes and headed to the arboretum and walked for four miles in the early morning sun. And then I went to my sister’s to hug my nephew close…my parents were there so I got to see my Dad too. I am going to see my nieces tomorrow to hug them close too, while I can easily reach out and grab them in a 45 minute car ride.
I hug all my little people close, and my big people too, with a full awareness that clocks cannot be turned back. And that I too, have turned a corner that I can’t walk back around.
No matter how hard we all push.