Back to Basics

Depending on whom you ask, you will get varying answers to the question, “Where do you make the most memorable friendships?”  Some will say it’s in high school, others college.  Still some would say it’s in our post-educational careers.  I think it’s definitely a mixed bag, although I have very fond memories of the friendships and relationships I had (and still maintain) in high school.

I guess the answer to that stems from the fact that in high school I was a BMOC. And by big man I don’t mean Jarod from Subway big.  More like social butterfly, everyone knows my name big man.  It was kinda’ easy, however, to be cool, popular and liked in a school where there are just over 500 students and you are the student body president.  It’s analogous to living in a small town.  Everyone knows everyone, and with a student body that was 98% Cuban American, there was no escaping the gossip machine.  As Gloria Estefan would say, “The chisme is gonna’ get you….”

Nevertheless, the upside of such a small school was the real sense of community and belonging that it fostered.  From religious retreats to community service drives to organized sports (can you say captain of the track team? <wink>), the social growth these events provided far exceeded any teenage angst they created.  We all have memories of awkward moments, bad decisions and just overall, juvenile mistakes; however, I have many more good memories of high school than bad.  I truly consider myself lucky.

And as luck would have it, I got a call today from an old high school friend.  I wouldn’t go as far as say an old girlfriend, especially when I look back and laugh at what I considered ‘dating’ in high school, but we did make out a couple of times …. SHHHHHH! <grin>.  But seriously, the call came out of the blue, and this was someone I had not seen nor spoken to in about 15 years!  Yet, it was as if we’d kept in touch all this time.  The conversation was casual, comfortable and, most importantly, still anchored in all that was great about La Salle High School in Miami.

And it got me thinking about how important it is for us to revisit, from time to time, those qualities in us that are fundamental and essential.  How imperative it is for us to get back to basics with ourselves.  To explore the archetypal characteristics that have always, and will always, begin to define us.  There are many cars on the road today, some sleek and fast, others bulky and unrefined.  Yet they all have something in common.  They all started with a chassis, and from there they were built out. Take the time to stop and revisit your chassis.  Revisit what it is that defines you and guides you in your day to day, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.  Be it memories of years past or this past weekend, we all need to reflect on our core selves from time to time.

As for my friend, thanks again for the call.  It was a very pleasant and welcomed surprise.  May you and your husband always be meticulous with your bag of sugar, and never forget that you have a great example in your parents.  Yet more proof that soul mates do actually exists.  Take care, best of luck with everything, and be sure to keep in touch.

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