Growing up in an Army family that moved constantly was wonderful in some ways, but quite difficult in others. I think that it established in me a sense of adventure, a love of travel, a sort of fearlessness with regards to the unfamiliar, and of course, an outgoing personality. It was kind of a survival mechanism. Thankfully, my brother and I usually went to schools on/near base that were full of other military kids who were in the same boat we were, and that made it much easier. At the time, none of us really knew any different.
And then we moved to Atlanta. I was 11 years old going into 7th grade and we ended up going to, for the first (and only) time, a private school. A small private school that was K-12 with about 30 kids in each grade, most of whom had gone there their entire lives. And they weren’t all that excited about new kids. Talk about intimidating.
In my grade of 28 kids there were 4 girls named Ashley, 3 named Ashley S and 2 named Ashley Smith who then had to go by their middle initials. (And to think that when my parents named me Ashley my dad swears that he had never met one before in his life!) Anyway, I was very fortunate to strike up a friendship with one of these fellow Ashley’s and became attached at the hip to Ashley L Smith. We had similar interests and just did everything together.
After 8th grade my family moved to South Carolina and I was so sad to leave Ashley. We vowed to remain friends and did manage to see each other the summer after 9th grade and then again sometime during our 10th grade year.
Fast forward 10 years and we haven’t seen each other since. Until Friday! 🙂 A couple of weeks ago I got a Facebook message from my long-lost best friend letting me know that she would be in SF for a law school event and offered to meet up for lunch. It was so much fun seeing her again and catching up on all that we had missed. We are now both married and living in new places. She looked exactly the same (just beautiful like she has always been) and in some ways it felt like no time had passed. But 10 years have passed. So it’s a little surreal but all in all it was great.
I almost forgot to take a photo but rushed her back in the restaurant after we had just left insisting that we “document the moment” (and yes, I’m sure I said something awkward like that). Here is the photo. While I’m home over Thanksgiving I am determined to dig up old photos of us and will update this post with a “then/now” comparison.
It was great to see you Ashley!! All the best to you & Cody. Hope to see you again — sooner this time! 🙂