I spent four days in Las Vegas attending a technology conference for work. I rarely get the opportunity to attend an event like this, and although I was excited, I was also worried about sensory overload.
I was excited because I have family, rarely seen, in Las Vegas. My Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and their daughters live there. I hadn’t seen them for over two years, and I collected small things at the conference trade expo that I thought they might enjoy. Glow-in-the-Dark Sun glasses. Heart shaped pins with blinking lights. My Aunt was going to kill me for sharing some of the sensory overload with her grandchildren.
I was excited about expanding my knowledge for my 9-5 life; what was new in the industry, how does technology add to the way people do things? My colleague and I wandered the halls with a loose plan, trying to focus through the come-hither pitches by the expo vendors.
We stopped by one booth, and discussed the Talent Management product with the sales executive. She was smart and completely on target and on the ball. She gave us her business card, closing with “I’d love to come and demo. I’m from DC.” Then, “oh, from where” was exchanged, and we found out we had attended the same high school. But over a decade apart. This chance encounter added an additional layer to the conference beyond seeing family, beyond the technology displayed.
What was it about those high school experiences that connected us? They were the years that I first tasted what it was like to be my best self. To be in a place where my intelligence was appreciated; I was old enough to make my own money; I had freedom to explore around me. I began to think critically. I began to learn the consequences of choice. These situations still resonate with me, and influence the movies and books I love, and what I want to show in my writing.
So, tell me! Have you had any chance encounters that reacquainted your with your younger self? A reunion?