Empty House, Full Mind

Views of life from the empty nest


Me, 1981

 I recently had lunch with a boyfriend from college.  Another friend of ours was there too, which probably helped to make me feel a little less nervous before we met.  After all, I hadn’t seen or talked to him in nearly 30 years.  Of course, like most of the population, we had reconnected on facebook, but in person is a whole different experience.   Since we are both happily married, there was nothing the least bit inappropriate (though I can see how it could be for those who are unhappy…so sentimental!), and  it turned out to be a really lovely afternoon for us. We took turns sharing the paths our lives had taken, the way we’d gotten where we are – and I think each of us was happy to be able to report that we were, to be trite, in a good place.   The best part for me was knowing that I am still 19 in someone else’s memory – still the girl I often wish I could go back to and say “ENJOY being young and effortlessly attractive, don’t rush so fast into the future, and be grateful for the experience of being in college, and having your whole life ahead of you.”  Come to think of it, this is what I tell Katie all the time!  

San Diego State University

Before we met for lunch, I spent a lot of moments remembering that time in my life, a time I have lost track of as other, bigger moments have happened to me along the way.  Snippets of things came back to me, things I had forgotten about – but mostly what I remembered was the feeling of being at the edge of my seat a lot of the time, anticipating the next event – party, road trip, whatever – a feeling that is exclusively the territory of youth.  Though I did get a little sad, I also found myself feeling profoundly grateful for the stability and security that my life now gives me.  Yes, it was always pretty thrilling back then to meet a new boy and wonder what would happen next, but what I was always searching for is exactly what I have today – a husband I can count on all the time, no matter what, to be there for me, to whom I will be married 22 years this Friday.  So thank you, old boyfriend, for sharing an afternoon, reminiscing, and sending me home knowing that nothing could be better than what I have now. And I’m so glad you’re happy too. 


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