I’ve been thinking a lot lately about those “cool older girls” we all look up to/are terrified of in middle and high school. We all have them. When I was an eight-year-old at summer camp, these were the girls with hair down to there, big boobs, and a confidence that said they owned the place. In middle
and high school, they were the girls who were effortlessly flirty and comfortable around boys. They were, across the board, older, cooler, and kind of scary.
So it’s bizarre when you wake up one day as an adult and realize, suddenly, that you’re all just people.
I got an email the other day from a woman a couple of years younger than me with whom I went to middle school. She was so nice, saying she read MWF Seeking BFF and loved it, and admitted that, apparently, I was that older girl to her. I was shocked, as this is the first I’ve heard of anyone at all thinking I was intimidating or someone to look up to.
She went on to say that she wished she could travel back in time and tell her 11-year-old self that I would one day be looking for friends. Ha!
Yesterday I connected with another girl from my elementary school days, who told me she recently ended up at a birthday party with the older girls we were totally scared of once upon a time. “It was intimidating, still, but then made me realize we’re all in the same boat now that we’ve grown up.”
Friendship can be funny that way. As age gaps become less significant and the social hierarchy of high school fades, suddenly we realize we’re all just people, looking for companionship. We’re allowed to approach the older, super cool girls we once felt unworthy of talking to.
This actually happened to me recently– I talked to one of the summer camp girls I looked up to when we ran into each other at the airport. It was a perfectly adult, nice conversation.
And then I called Sara, squealing into the phone that “I talked to our 1992 captain!!!”
It’s hard to mature.
Know what I’m talking about? Did you have those cool older girls you looked up to as a kid? Ever reconnect with one as an adult and realize she’s just another person looking for friends?