In my pre-teen to teenage years, there were very distinct “worlds” I was part of. Actually, let’s call them “universes”, for all you comic book nerds out there. They were:
High School Universe (High Schooliverse)– mainly my friends in drama club, plus a few non-drama kids
Kids On Stage Universe (Kids on Stageiverse)– my friends from the kids company I was in
Community Theatre Universe (Community Theatreverse)– friends I had met from various theatre companies around NJ.
And more recently:
Westminster Choir College (Westminsterverse)– my music conservatory undergrad
Emerson College (Emersoniverse)– my graduate school
Sometimes, people from these universes would overlap. My friend from High Schooliverse would carpool with me to Community Theatreverse rehearsals; my Community Theatreverse boyfriend would get to know my High Schooiverse friends, my Kids On Stageiverse friends would do shows with me in Community Theatreverse, etc.
I remember this being absolutely fine, until it came to the issue of who to invite to parties; my birthdays, sweet 16, graduation, etc. Sure, I loved all my friends separately, but would they get along with each other when brought together? Should I only invite my high school friends to my graduation party? But what about my close friends from Kids On Stage? What, mom? There are too many people on the invite list, and I have to cut people out? Oh, the agony. The agata. The stress. These things caused me much pain and suffering in the ever so dramatic world of my teenage years, but I’m glad to see that things are much more simple now.
What? They’re not more simple? Oh.
Thanks to the magical stalker-y nature of Facebook, it’s very easy to see when our friends connect with other people, and usually it’s fun to ask them how they know each other and find out the story. But there have been a couple of recent interactions between my two universes that leave me thinking “No. No no no. Please don’t talk about your mutual friend”. Not because I’m ashamed or have anything to hide, but maybe because I want people to preserve the image of me they might already have. I was a considerably different person in college than in high school, so when I saw that my high school boyfriend and my college friend were in a show together, it just felt weird. Like a “don’t blow my cover, please. My college friend doesn’t know I plastered my bedroom walls with Backstreet Boys posters, and cried at their concerts. I’ve sung at Carnegie Hall in college, dammit. Maintain my facade!”
Of course, I know it’s not the worst thing in the world if that happes. I just know that I personally want through a hugh change between high school and college, and now college and grad school. I’ve worked very hard to become the person I am today, and there are memories that should just stay private.