Between the ages of 13 and 23, I lived on the eastern shore of Maryland. I was in 7th grade when we moved there and I moved away a year after graduating from college. I never went back…not because it wasn’t a great place to live…but just because my life took me in other directions. Over this holiday season, I returned. The town and university have changed considerably and I expected the people I once knew to feel just as foreign. 30 years of aging, perspective and life experience has to change us…or does it?
As I re-connected with people – an old boss, some friends from my youth, a coach from college, that first big love – I discovered something unexpected: They really hadn’t changed at all. Sure everyone looked different…wrinkles, gray hair, some extra pounds…but oddly, the qualities that made them who they were 30 years ago still represent them well today. In each case, it felt as though I had never left. It was as if no time had passed at all. I expected to be among strangers. No…I was home, because those qualities that make us uniquely us…well, they’re timeless.