I went to lunch today with a coworker from long, long ago. From the beginning, almost, before State of Happiness, before law school, before Rwanda.
We talked about the people we knew back then: our coworkers, who we've mostly lost track of. The kids we worked with, who he has kept up on via the state prison website. He rattled off names that I, in leaving for Rwanda and a whole new life, had forgotten.
We talked about whether the work we did back then gave those kids a chance, or whether it was just too little in the sad stories of their lives.
We talked about how we ended up in the same career, despite our different paths to it.
I feel so very different now than I was 11 years ago, the last time I saw him. And yet, he is the same person, only older and more grounded, and he seemed to think I was the same, too.
He told me that I always have found the interesting people and interesting things to do, and it's funny, because I don't remember that in the girl I was, but then, she flew off to Rwanda alone on 8 weeks notice, so she must have been braver than I remember.