Now, in my own defense, I have a large, complicated, but close-knit family that fulfills my social needs, along with the afore-mentioned decades-long friendships. But something happened recently that opened my eyes to lost opportunities for a most fulfilling life.
I was contacted by a woman whom I had known in high school, but not well. She was a spunky cheerleader, and I couldn’t manage a cartwheel if my life depended on it, so that put us in different social circles. High school was a time of family melt-down for me, and just getting through each day was a challenge. Hence, bubbly, carefree cheerleaders held little interest to me.
Fast forward thirty years, and this perfectly nice woman contacts me regarding a book she is writing. I agreed to provide some feedback and a bit of editing to her memoir in progress. Very much enjoying the story, especially as it takes place in the small town where I grew up and am still very fond of, I began to see the person I had never seen as a teen. This was a person who was experiencing tremendous loss, wrestling with self-doubt and grief, that sat two desks away from me.
I never took the time then to look beyond the self-depreciating remarks she made, always veiled behind a big smile. And I know I don’t take the time now to really listen to people I meet, to slow down my life a little to allow in somebody new. It is well past time to start.
© Tracey Enerson Wood All rights reserved