It is amazing to me how fast time has gone by in my life.
I am sure this is a feeling most of us get at some point in our lives, and one of those mid-life moments when we have shocking realizations about how much time has passed since high school.
While I feel like a lot of my life has been full-speed-ahead, especially during the 10 years of seasonal firefighting work I did where seasons of constant work are broken up by time off spent globe-trotting or snowboarding,
I have recently had an experience which sharply reinforced the passage of time.
It was via the magic of Facebook with which four of my best friends from high school and I reconnected as a group.
The five of us were great friends throughout much of high school, and were perhaps bonded together by a mutual enjoyment of things not part of small town pop culture such as skateboarding and Monty Python.
We loved alternative music, far before alternative music had a broad fan base in small-town British Columbia, and thanks to the girls with older brothers in college, we listened to bands like The Pixies and The Cure and later Nirvana and other grunge bands.
We stayed up late watching Saturday Night Live as young teens, imagining far off places like New York City and laughing at our own ridiculous senses of humour no one else seemed to share.
While one of the group moved to the Lower Mainland before we finished high school, we still stayed in touch and some of us made it down at different times to visit her.
I went to my very first live rock concert on one of those visits – Stacey and I saw Sloan at The Vogue Theatre, thanks to my mom who was amazing enough to drive me down there for the event.
But over the years, we all went our separate ways, as people do, and we had lost touch.
Some had drifted in different directions towards the end of high school, and after high school we all scattered to the winds really.
Jera taught diving in the Virgin Islands for a few years, and then worked on cruise ships.
Stacey lived in Greece for a year, then got married, sent us a postcard telling us as much from India, and moved to England.
Angie had moved to the Kootenays with her parents after high school. Then after traveling Europe and the Middle East, she got married and settled in the Kootenays, becoming a nurse.
Diane had gone to school in North Vancouver then moved to the Sunshine Coast with her husband and had kids.
To some degree I had kept in touch with most of them off and on, but most times more off than on. We were all busy and I thought some were even keen to separate from their past, so we did our own things.
But while it is easy to dislike many aspects of Facebook (time-wasting and cyber-bullying perhaps?), I am very grateful it allowed us all to reconnect properly.
After I posted a birthday message to one of them back in July, the rest all began commenting on the post and finally we just decided it was time to reunite, after 20 years.
It was kind of a lightbulb moment when I realized it had been so long since we were all together, and I had thought with how busy everyone was it might never happen.
However, once again, thanks to the brilliant immediacy and ease of Facebook, we just picked dates, made a plan and it all came together.
I feel like the realization it had been two decades since we had gotten to do something all together perhaps gave us all a little jolt of our own mortality and the fleeting nature of our lives on this planet, so we were extra motivated to make it happen.
And happen it did.
We gathered in central B.C., and we all came, from nearly every corner of the province.
From Fort St. James to Grand Forks, the Sunshine Coast to Williams Lake, we all converged for a weekend full of laughter, food and memories.
The years disappeared, and scarily enough, it seemed as though no one had really changed all that much – though I’m sure we all feel a whole lot different than we did as teenagers.
To think after 20 years I could be lucky enough to still have such incredible people in my life.
Those women were a big part of making me who I am, they helped broaden my horizons and my sense of humour.
Ladies, let’s not make it another 20 years.
Thanks Facebook, you really came through on this one.