I had lunch with my best friend last week. Since she lives in Florida, I considered it a treat. Rarely do we get to sit and talk face to face, look each other’s expressions and know what’s really going on beneath the surface. Like my mother, she knows when something is going on with me without my having to say a word. The thing about people you know well, and vice versa, is they know whole truth about you and the fact that they love you anyway is priceless.
Our talk drifted from the typical how are you’s and what’s been going on, to kids and family, then to the more everyday stuff. Eventually we began talking about a circle of people we both know, but haven’t seen in years. She asked me if I remembered a particular girl we went to high school with.
“Of course,” I said.
“When was the last time you saw her?” She asked.
“I don’t know, senior year, I guess. Why?”
She explained this girl friended her on Facebook. I’m not on Facebook and those close to me know why. The mention of this girls name, brought back memories of a nice, quiet, mannerly girl. A cheerleader with full blond hair that hung past her shoulders, blue eyes and a perfect smile. She was pretty it seemed on the inside and out. I wasn’t especially close to her and I don’t remember much about her or her circle of friends and nothing really stands out to me about her, except she was nice. She was, as it seemed, like everyone else, just wanting to graduate. I had one class with her during high school. I remember she kept her herself, did her work and like the rest of us, was uncomfortable when she had to get up in front of the class to give her speeches. She gave me her senior year photo, which I still have.
After taking a bite, my friend told me this girl was a dancer. My mind began tumbling. Dancer… ballerina, hip-hop, fly-girl, a Rockette? Then it hit me. I looked at my friend as soup dripped from my chin.
“A stripper-dancer?” I asked.
She nodded giving me confirmation.
Then the cynical me took over. Judgment crept onto my face and overtook my mind. Thoughtless words escaped my mouth. I was in disbelief that this girl-next-door could be that.
Then late that evening, I began thinking about her. It occurred to me that I know nothing about the events of this girls life. I know nothing of what happened to her after high school, as we grew from teenagers to adults. I’m clueless as to the places life has or hasn’t taken her. I felt ashamed for thinking badly of her. Who am I? I’m not exactly living my dream.
Life is about choices and sometimes when we’re backed into a corner and we feel there is no way out, maybe we do things we ordinarily wouldn’t. At the end of the day, all that matters is you feel you’ve done your best in whatever world you live in.
It is unfair to hold others to my expectations. I’m sure when she sits in the glow of those she knows best, she has that priceless feeling of being loved anyway.