I wrote a while ago how my husband and I have the “remember when..” talk regularly, but in general I live in the moment and don’t spend much time thinking the past. But Facebook has been such a great way to bring back old friends into our lives, and if nothing else, at least take a peek into someone’s life from your past.
I would like to introduce one of those people from my life to you.
Her name is Pauliina, and she was my best friend in high school.
I wanted to go to the most prestigious high school around my home, so I drove 20 miles in a bus everyday to attend it. The first day was sort of scary, I didn’t know anyone. Pauliina was the first person who spoke to me, and I we were friends ever since. We shared the same interests in fashion and design, and even for marketing and business. We were opinionated besserwissers and already building our resumes.
Thanks to Pauliina I studied more and got straight A’s just to be cool in her eyes. On her 18th birthday I threw a small house party at her home with a live band, but we wore cocktail dresses and drank Sambuca, not beer in jeans and tank tops. We excelled in math and languages, and during the weekends when other high school kids were at house parties, we dressed in little black dresses and sat in the lobby bars of fancy hotels listening to piano music and drinking Kahlúa. (legal drinking age in Finland is 18)
We both designed our own graduation dresses, and I think we both skipped the prom equivalent, because we were 19-year-olds going on 30. I moved to two hours away to Helsinki right after high school, Pauliina came a year later. I studied mechanical engineering, she studied business. We both worked with high fashion and PR already during college. We got married around the same time on the other sides of the world, and she visited me in Germany before we both got pregnant with our first babies (around the same time).
Fast forward to today. Now Pauliina owns a modern lifestyle store in the heart of Helsinki, has three children and a dog. Her home has been featured in design magazines, and her store in newspapers. She had a successful career as a communications consultant, and now she lives her life to the fullest as a store keeper in a store that makes many New York City’s stores pale in comparison. She sounds like an amazing woman, whom I really should know better today.
When I go back to Finland next time, hopefully I’ll have a chance to see her. And not (just) for the “remember when…” talk, but to know her better who she is today.