The Reunion #XJP

I am writing because it is the only way to describe the feelings of absolute elation and joy I am consumed with at this moment. COVID-19 has raked havoc across every global and local system. And yet, it has resulted in some of the most beautiful acts of humanity, reflection and re-connection.

In the most unprecedented way, I was able to speak to some of my oldest friends as we spanned time-zones from the West Coast to the Middle East. Some of these friends I haven’t heard from or spoken to in over 5 years. And yet, in a single Zoom meeting room, all feelings of intimidation and shyness dissolved as we relived memories of our childhood.

An occurrence like this would have been simply impossible if it were not for a global pandemic to shut us all into our homes and, in most cases, have nothing better to do but stare at walls and snack all the time.

The seed of an idea, forwarding a Zoom invite link and then spamming those who hadn’t joined with screenshots to tickle their FOMO and make them join – the steps for making the biggest virtual reunion happen. And as the ‘meeting’ progressed over 4 hours, people came and went. Some stayed for a bit and others for the whole time.

The joining of a new friend would mean a collective groan as a volunteer explained the process of getting them to switch to gallery view. And in many cases, the shock and gasp of realising who and how many people were there!

As we listened to embarrassing stories featuring us, talked about all those scandals and remembered teachers all the way from prep school, I realised that this group of people are among the most special ones in my life. They are the few people on this planet who understood me without having to explain myself. They had watched me be stupid, stumble and fall – seen me in the most deplorable of states. But they were also the ones who had helped me grow. These were the people who have shaped my perspective of this world and morals in life. They were the peers who were my role models to emulate. These were my best friends, my acquaintances and even my first few crushes. And my time with them has been the most thrilling and exciting of journeys.

As I float in Cloud-9 with these feelings of happiness, I would just like to say to each of them, although not necessary, that if there is anything I can do for you in any way, please never hesitate to reach out. As today showed us that although we may be dispersed like seeds across this blue planet, when we peel off those fancy university names and jobs, we’re still the same scruffy bunch of kids running around under a sunny sky in Jeddah.

I love you all so very much and wish you the very best in life. ❤️

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