I have a sound clip from 1997 that features my college roommates and I interviewing each other on “what we wanted to be doing in five years.” I’ve stumbled across that clip a few times since graduation, always giggling to myself and wondering if any of the other girls thought about those goals.


“I’ll probably be teaching” G stated, matter of fact.
(She was.)

“I’ll be hiking or something,” Nicole mused. (She was.)

“I’ll be servicing humans,” (insert fits of laughter here for our Human Service Major friend wasn’t kidding) Paige giggled.

“I’ll be… um…” I offered. And this is how my young adult life started.

macarana 97


We’ve since gone on to graduate school, re-educated ourselves in new areas, got professional jobs (and became a river guide), had children, and grown up. We are as different as we were back then but also just the same.


Time is a funny thing. We’re no longer the wistful young twenty-somethings fresh out of undergraduate school hoping to find love, a career, a life. We’re older, wiser, more mature (in some areas) and we no longer wistfully dream as we did twelve years ago.


Oh, but we do.

We may not pass notes to each other with poetic quotes from Thoreau or Emmerson, and we may not write in our journals at the coffee house for hours each night, and we may not even see each other but once every few months at best, but we are not so different when we are together. We are still the same stories, the same memories, a shared path. We remember things about one another that few people may even know about. We can discuss with a light heart a time in our lives that is precious and delicate. And we can watch as our children play and dance together in a new life, twelve years later, in the yard of the house I never dreamed of owning.

We are in new lives but we are still the Ellis girls. Each of us with a personality so different. I would hope this for my children, the chance to connect at such a young age with friends that remain for life; however much time may wash away and erode our minds and fill our days.


“I have learned this at least by my experiment: if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” -Thoreau