Thursday, April 15, 2010

A 20-Year Road Trip

If you caught my tweets yesterday, you know that I'm enjoying a long weekend with some girlfriends this weekend.  (Mad props to R for doing single-parent duty for four days.) 

The occasion:  all four of us are hitting a birthday that ends in "0" this year.  I've known each of these ladies more than half my life, and it seems not so long ago that the milestone birthday we were hitting was "20" and not... well, you can take your guess based on the title of this post.  But it wasn't too far into our 20s that we all started to go our separate ways. Some moved, some married, some started families, and while we've kept in touch and gotten together from time to time, it's been less and less over the years. This will be the first time we've all been together since my wedding, nearly five years ago, and I can't wait.

One of the neat parts of this trip is that it took me through my college town, a place I don't get back to often and where I spent a lot of time with these gals during those "20" years.   I had the luxury of not having to be anywhere by any certain time today, so I took a little mini-tour back in time and around campus. 

Oh, those columns.  It's weird how six big chunks of stone can almost instantly bring me back to my college years.  There was nothing I looked forward to each spring more than that first warm day that I could stretch out on the fresh green grass of the quad, look at the blue sky and enjoy the moment.  But, like any other 20-year old, I couldn't have imagined that my life 20 years later wouldn't look exactly how I had it planned back then.  (Seriously, try telling that permed-haired, acid-washed-jeans-wearing smartass that over the course of the next 20 years she would become a lawyer and mom of two living in Minnesota...and watch her laugh, and laugh, and laugh...)

As I was driving through my college town, though, I really started to feel the past 20 years.  My old hangouts look somewhat more run-down or are gone altogether.  (The old cool basement alterna-techno-bar where everyone dressed in black, moped around and danced by themselves?  Yeah, it's an underground cafe/coffee shop now.  Sigh.)  When did traffic get so bad?  Why did all these darn kids take the good parking spots?  And how can these really, really young looking kids be in college? 

So we clearly aren't 20 anymore:  all four of us have said how much we're looking forward to nights of uninterrupted sleep during this getaway, and we're all bringing crafts to work on - not quite the "stay out until bar close" nights of our youth.    But none of us would trade the blessings, challenges, joys, struggles and ordinary moments of the past 20 years for anything.

What's your college nostalgia?  Or, what are your fun weekend plans?

1 comment:

  1. sounds like an awesome weekend to me, too. Love your blog. You rock, mommy of 2.