'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you
- Kelly Clarkson
The new song from Kelly Clarkson really has hit a cord.
It has been a whirlwind journey since returning from South Carolina and the rediscovery of my life. Many would say, Johnny, you are just being overdramatic, but alas, no. There is a new spirit in life right now. I find myself more in love with my wonderful wife than ever. I have a new bond with my kids as part of a bigger family, one with a heritage and story to tell - and continue to tell. I remain the same person, with a different life.
And in the midst of all this, suddenly, people who meant a lot in my life in older days seem to be finding their ways, in even a small way, back into my life. It might be something as simple as a Facebook message, or just a quick note to say hello.
Some of us would rather forget the past - I embrace it. There are a lot of choices I made that I might have changed, a right turn when I should have gone left... giving up on something I should have maybe held onto. And in the past couple of weeks, like rediscovering the past, I have seen the new version of people I knew dozens of years ago and realize that life goes on for all of us.
Getting surreal for a moment, do you ever feel like you are the only person conscious and the rest of the world is a play made just for you? Silly, isn't it? Think about it, people live their lives all around you, but you only have your own perspective.
Now back to the notes. I have caught up with someone I really liked, but she didn't feel the same about me back then. Kind of a case of older person's puppy love. She had been hurt in the relationship she had previous to meeting me, and did not feel that she could trust another man at that time. She is now married with kids and a great career. While her looks haven't changed, her life has become hundreds of times better... and that makes it all the more intriguing to me. Same person... different life.
I caught up with a high school friend who I always thought of as kind of a rival. She was always cool to me, but in the end, someone who I would think of fondly. She was on my bus, so we knew each other pretty well. Now, one of her kids goes to the same school we went to (which is now a merged version of an all boy's and an all girl's school.) Same person... different life.
Then there is my friend I met back when I worked for a cable network. We had not spoken since I had my nasty divorce from the cable channel. It was a huge legal mess, and all the higher ups at the net did not think very highly of me. My friend was a good friend of the head of the network, so I thought the relationship was poisoned.
A Facebook note and friend request made me realize that was not the case. He even started the note with "I don't know if you remember me." The fact is I always remembered what a nice guy he was and was sad that our friendship had not continued. It turns out that his life had taken an interesting set of turns. We hope to reconnect soon to play the game of golf we scheduled years ago, and catch up. So I prepare to rekindle the friendship with the Same Person, with now a different life.
No example of this is better than another of my new Facebook friends, who was a friend of mine when I was a teenager. I knew her under her real name and as a private school educated fine lady of the South. Now, I have recently seen her on Facebook with a totally new name, and living a life as a free spirit in Las Vegas... far away from the Charleston I met her in. Same person... different life.
I guess you could say that every day brings us all a different life, but to see such radical changes in the people I knew one way, and then to be reintroduced to their new life, it's an amazing journey.
So take the time to think about someone you really cared for that you may have lost touch with, one that you just want to say hello to or someone you genuinely miss. Don't be afraid to reach out and say hello. You may be amazed at the results.
Wishing you a happy different life every day of yours! My life would indeed... um... not be the same without you!
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