I can never go back. I can never relive those days so long ago, when life was much sweeter and simpler, viewed through the prism of the present. Life, such as it is, will press me ever onward, into the uncertain future. I can do nothing else, but try to be the best me that I can be, for myself and those I hold nearer and dearer.
There were golden, wrapped individual roses, and copies of our eighth-grade yearbook embossed with gold seals. Everyone was there; talking, dancing and reminiscing about days long since passed. It was a reunion. Faces I hadn’t lain eyes on since 1984 appeared vividly in my mind’s eye as I lay in the dark, silently dreaming. I dreamt of dancing with a former girlfriend, I dreamt of the possibility of stealing a kiss from a girl I had longed to steal one from decades ago. Then, in mere seconds, the images faded as I awoke from the dream. Feeling bittersweet, I rose from my bed to greet Tuesday morning.
What has my life been, up to this point? Have I lived my life honestly, openly to its fullest, while making a positive impact on the world around me? Have I kept the friends I had long ago, as close as I possibly could? These and other questions washed over my mind like waves on the shore as I poured my morning coffee. What is my life? What is my present, when compared with my past, and what does my future hold?
Sitting at my computer screen, I catch myself looking through my list of friends on Facebook. Social networking, it seems, has become all but a staple of 21st-century life for some. I see the faces and read the names of those I have come to know over the years; few if any, from my childhood days, but conversely more from my adulthood. It occurs to me that many of us have grown to become quite different people than we were in our childhood, and perhaps that’s why there are so few names in my list from those days.
I too, have changed over the years. As a child, and through my teen years, I often felt that I never quite fit in with the majority. I was the type who kept largely to myself, only interacting with others when pried from my shell through activities such as drama, band and my middle-school’s “GATE” program. Otherwise, I was in school as I was in the home; an only child.
I am far from alone in my adult life. I have a loving and talented wife, who I have been wedded to for a quarter of a century. I have three wonderful children of my own, two of whom have grown to adulthood and one entering her pre-teen years. These are the prime movers of my existence, my motivation to live and to love.
So I press on, into whatever the future may hold. Regrets will never do, so I do my best to make my peace with the past…and move gracefully forward.