Every day I wake up wishing I could be facing a different reality. Some mornings I get half way to the bathroom before I remember. Most days it hits me immediately, and I reach to feel Genghis and check that it hasn’t magically shrunk overnight or, worse still, grown. The reconnection to the reality of my situation is often the worst moment of the day.
However my situation has also brought some much happier reconnections. Through the wonders of social media, word of mouth and other mysterious pathways, people who I have lost touch with for various reasons have come back into my life. I don’t think there is a phase in my life that hasn’t been represented – St Martins (infant school), Habs (junior/senior school), Brasenose (university), OILP (law school), my stage in Brussels, my time in Seville, my time in Madrid, and each of my previous law firms (Linklaters and Lawrence Graham). Sure, some of the connections are being remade very tentatively, some were never entirely lost, and some are limited to brief Facebook contact. But there are some that have been properly reignited (I think and hope). Twice this week I have spent some really lovely time in particular with people I thought had left my life. One – an old work friend – felt as comfortable as if we had seen each other only a few weeks ago. We gossiped and laughed and whinged like we did in the earliest days of our working lives. The other – also work related – was truly delightful and gave me the chance to say something that I have wanted to say for several years and so to put to rest an old worry. And there have been lots of other lovely catch ups too.
In a couple of days I will be back in the Big White Chair. Knowing that the drugs are working means that I am able to dig deep and face it, but I won’t deny that I am dreading it. To help deal with the dread I am scheduling more reconnections for the days following. Old school friends are popping in for a cuppa. Many of these girls I won’t have seen for 20 years. It’s funny – I’m sure that 20 years ago I couldn’t have imagined I would be reconnecting with them. For much of my time at school, I didn’t have many close friends there. Most of my close bonds were outside school. Many of my school friendships didn’t go that deep and it was only really when I got to university that I truly formed a proper circle of life long friends (my dearest and oldest friend Hannah is the exception as we have been besties since the age of 11). School wasn’t an easy place for me socially and I never felt all that sure who my friends were. So it’s funny – but very nice – 20 years on to reconnect with some of the girls as adults. Teenage angst is long in the past and these women have reached out with sympathy and love. It means so much, not only to me now but to the vestiges of the teenage me, the awkward me, the me who had yet to work out who I was (that happened at Oxford – which is no doubt why I look back on my 3 years at college as the best time ever). I am truly looking forward to renewing these connections and to remaking friends – but this time as adults. Reconnecting is enriching me in all sorts of ways.