25 years. It’s a lifetime for many but for those of us who attended last Saturday night’s function, it felt but a blink in time.
Last weekend we celebrated our 25-year high school reunion. The 1994 class of 210 girls had, 25 years later, converged as women, some as mothers and most as ‘responsible’ (before the wine) adults to share memories, stories and have a good chinwag. A debrief as I love to call it.
We were each given name tags upon entering but the faces we were confronted with were all familiar. Like a well-worn jumper, the event felt comfortable, warm and embracing. It was good to be back. To be surrounded by girls whom we had shared so much.
You see what struck me when I was talking to the women was that each time I spoke to a different person I saw not the woman before me but the girl that she once was. And that in itself is an incredibly unique relationship. Many of the people I interact with now only know me as an adult. Indeed my husband and children only see me as I am today and the person I have been over the past decade. They don’t know the girl that I once was. But you see, these ladies they knew the girl.
In life, only a small group of people will know you as you once were. Your parents, your siblings, your family, and your old friends. They have seen the good and the bad and all that is in between which makes up your high school years. They remember the friendships, the at times bitchiness, the boys, the exams, the pranks, the sleepovers, the dances, the underage drinking (who did that??). They remember the fashion disasters, the bad haircuts, the train rides, the bus rides; the sports carnivals, the first kisses, the breakups, the bust-ups, the formals, and at times the unchaperoned parties. The high and lows, the triumphs and the heartbreaks were all something, which we experienced together as a year group and as young women.
We were educated at a Catholic school, by the Mercy Sisters and our year group was all girls. We received a privileged education but what I believe was the greatest privilege was the people we got to meet. Some of the girls I went to high school with are still my closest mates today and when we get together our husbands bemoan the fact that we turn into the schoolgirls that they never knew. That our laughter and our chatter remind them of teenagers, not the women they are married to.
But that’s the great thing about old friends. We are free to be ourselves, free of judgment and free of bravado. The girls last Saturday night reminded me of how special the bond we all share really is. It’s unique and its something, which we should cherish and hold tight. As I close this article I think of that wonderful line: ‘Make new friends but keep the old, the first are silver the latter gold’. Indeed they are.
Clare Sultmann is a wife, mother of 3 and the founder of Dear Molly.
As a survivor of a catastrophic accident, former barrister at law, published author, and nationally accredited mediator Clare has returned to work in a different capacity. Relocating to Noosa shortly after the birth of her first child, Clare found it difficult to make meaningful and real connections with other like-minded women away from her own network of friends. With this in mind, Clare’s idea was born. Dear Molly aims to provide connections for like-minded women in a real, meaningful and positive manner. It a platform to share, communicate and inspire other women about their ‘real’ life.