Wednesday, July 20, 2011
When I was in high school, and even looking back now, it seems that many of us walked the same path. We went to school, participated in activities or after-school jobs or both, did homework, and had to maneuver the social world of it all, dating included. We dealt with parents and siblings and bosses and teachers and friends and relationships. Of course our struggles were different in many ways, but overall, we faced the same types of problems.
Fast forward fifteen years. Instead of facing the same types of now what seems to be trivial problems, we have all had our share of heartache and challenges, many of which I'm certain our younger selves had no idea of what was coming.
A few of my friends have faced breast cancer and are raising young children at the same time. I have a few who've endured terrible divorces and all the pain that accompanies that. I've had some who've lost children. I have a couple friends who have children with disabilities, Down's Syndrome being one of those. Some of my friends have dealt with infertility and are still dealing with it. Others have been diagnosed with degenerative diseases that have really taken a toll on their abilities to keep up with their families. One friend has dealt with the tragedy of learning her child was abused by a neighbor. Some are not married and have traveled the world. Some are military families and face the unique challenges that presents.
Recently I got together with a number of ladies from my high school years and had a girls' night out. It was interesting to see the depth in these ladies that was lacking when we were so young.
I must admit, the challenges that I've had seem small in comparison to some of the things these ladies have faced. I've dealt with my own set of trials that are unique to me, but I'm impressed by the courage these ladies have shown in facing their trials and the positive outlook they all still seem to have despite their struggles. But I especially loved seeing the depth and seeing in their eyes that they have gained so much strength since I saw them last.
Life is hard, isn't it? And how differently we all experience it has become very evident, whereas when I was younger, I never really saw it that way.