Lindsey, then Erica (The Livingston formally known as Peninger) shows up and I spent the next several hours visiting with her at Cups. I'll post more about Erica later, because I'll likely see her more this week, so there will be more dirt to dish. I'll talk about Lindsey first.
Yesterday was the first time I had seen Lindsey in 6 years. Back in 1999-2000, I worked as the Program Coordinator for the Madison County Cultural Center (MCCC), and Lindsey was one of the “kids” that took ballet classes there. I guess she was 14 when we met, and over the two years I was there, I got to know her better. If she had some spare time, she'd come hang out in my office, and she was always good company. Smart girl. Good conversations.
In addition to her taking classes at the MCCC, we also hired her as a camp assistant at our summer arts camp, and she kinda became a co-worker of sorts for the summer. When I left the MCCC, I had JUST turned 24, and she had just turned 16. End of story. Lost contact.
Ah, but for the power of MySpace. Out of curiousity one day I was searching for folks that I had known at the Center, specifically for some of the folks that would be in their late teens / early twenties. I was curious to see what they looked like, what they were doing, etc. Had no intention of actually contacting them. But when I found Lindsey, now at the ripe old age of 22, I took a chance and sent her an email. And lo and behold, over the years she'd been keeping up with me via the MCCC's old director, Mark McCrary! She was happy to hear from me, we've been emailing over the last month or two, and since I was in MS, we met for lunch to catch up face to face.
And it was really fun. It was a rather “fractured” conversation because we kept bouncing around from topic to topic, veering into tangents in an attempt to elaborate on everything that has happened to us in the last 6 years. The years since I left Mississippi have been the most important years of my life, and Lindsey has of course, graduated high school and come into her own as an adult. So there was WAY more to discuss than we could conceivably talk about in the span of two hours. There's still a pretty good age gap between us, but the years melted away when we got to talking.
When we first saw each other, I remarked that I didn't really expect to see her again after I left MS, to which she replied that she always felt that we were destined to see each other again beyond those years at the Center. So here's to taking the time to reconnect and discover those “surprise” friendships that suddenly reappear and make life that much more enjoyable.