Janet Walkow Christine Jacobs

Revisting the Past

At The Leading Women Project, we talk about how people can come in and out of our lives. Some stay for a long time, others are more short term. What happens when someone or something has moved out of your life – can you ever reclaim the past?

I was recently in Colorado and a few days into my trip I realized my week was filled with people who had once been in my life and had faded out as each of us moved into different lifestyles and pursuits. Faded, but not forgotten.

Faded, Not Forgotten

The person responsible for my being in Colorado is my middle school friend, Susan. As we moved through high school and college, we began to drift apart, into our separate lives. Four years ago, we reconnected and now enjoy a wonderful and strong friendship. It’s an example of faded, not forgotten, friendships that can be rekindled.  I feel very lucky to have Susan in my life, once again.

But, it doesn’t stop there. The second part of my Colorado adventure focused on reconnecting with some Colorado cousins, Rebecca and Joe, who I haven’t seen in many years. Reconnecting and finding similarities in our lives was a real treat. One morning Joe and I took a 3-hour hike in the mountains. As I scrambled over rocks and looked out at the nearby mountains, a flood of memories came back. When I was in college, I spent numerous spring breaks and vacations backpacking in the wilderness. I had almost forgotten how good it feels to hike, connect with nature, discover new places and find new ways to bond with cousins. Faded, but not forgotten. I know that I’ll be staying in touch with Rebecca and Joe. Hiking is like a past friendship and it would be wonderful to bring it back into my life.

Colorado has reminded me the importance of “faded, not forgotten” and being open to writing people and activities into and out of our lives. My vacation was spectacular. The memories will fade, but not be forgotten.

Janet Walkow is the Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Drug Dynamics Institute at The University of Texas and a co-founder of Leading Women. Read her full bio.

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