Saturday, June 30, 2007

Encountering the Past

I met up with a friend from college today. I had not seen him since I graduated way back in the previous century. Fourteen years to be precise (to those of you who can do the math: congratulations!).

It is strange.

Reconnecting with someone whom you knew pretty well, but then just took different paths and fell out of touch.

The irony of it is that in college he was a music major and he now works at the UN, while I was an IR (international relations) major and I am not quite sure what I am doing.

I also studied abroad in Sweden a year before him. I convinced him to go the following year and to stay with the host family I had, which he did. Now he is still in touch with the family, while I have lost touch.

In a reminder of the passing of time, he updated that the host family's youngest daughter is now a medical doctor. She was 8 or so when I was there. Interacting with her was great because she did not speak English and it forced me to speak in Swedish. She would laugh at me all the time because as she put it, "I was a grown up that spoke like a two year old."

Back to my friend, it is a strange dynamic when you meet up again. So much has happened since we last saw each other, but there are clear memories that still linger: debating the virtues of Clinton, Tsongas, third party candidates, the Blue Jays World Series run (he's Canadian), and the wonders of Mongolian Bar-B-Q.

As I sit here writing, I wonder whether we will reconnect or whether it was a parenthetical encounter in our respective lives.

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