When I was maybe 5, one of my best friends was Jennifer. (There were a million Jennifers in every class I was ever in, this was Jennifer M.) She lived a block-and-a-half over in a house with a turret. I thought that was so cool.When we were 8 or so she and her family moved to Germany, because her dad worked for Gillette and they sent him there. She lived in a town called Bad Saden and I thought that was the perfect name for such an awful place, taking my friend away.

When I was in 5th grade, I became “best friends”– for a while– with Candace-Leigh. Candace had all the cute clothes and knew about boys (me, neither of those things), but she was also really smart, and so we were in the same groups at school. We did lots of projects and book reports together. She lived about a half mile away, but I was allowed to bike way further than that by then. Her family had a pool. We would spend all day at the beach and then all day at the pool. On the same day.

In 6th grade, Jennifer moved back to town. I was so excited for these two friends to meet each other.

They showed each other their gymnastics moves, compared notes on boys and clothes, and proceeded to become best friends.

And I…. wrote about it. I distinctly remember feeling kind of detached from it. I wrote about how connecting the two of them felt… right.

When I spend time thinking about what I want to be when I grow up… or, more so, when I spend time wondering about the amazing and varied and episodic experiences that I have thrown myself into, then, for one reason or another, moved on from… I keep bumping against the concept of a catalyst….

Mulling that one over…




2 thoughts on “Catalyst

  1. I get the catalyst part. I’ve recently been valuing that part of my life. But I also get the “girls are mean” part, and I imagine this hurt a bit more than you’d have liked. Here’s to working hard to raise the young person that’s so happy to share the people that are important to them with each other and let it run.

    • You are right— I WAS hurt— those experiences (at that awful age especially) run really deep. They are really formative, and I guess that’s what I’m poking at, writing this… I DO see a pattern, in my life/relationships/work… wanting to really see how I tend to be, and then be able to use that for good, if that makes sense.
      PLUS trying to raise the young people who are whole-hearted in their friendships–not strategic.

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