I happened upon my photo album from 1972/73 today. That was when my name was Robyn Nicoll and I was an AFS student in Michigan. Amongst the photo’s were a line up of other AFS students I used to hang out with. With time on my side I punched a few names into Wikipaedia and Facebook and discovered that most of these people took that experience and rose like froth to the top of the beer glass of life. Their accomplishments are stellar and I’m left thinking 43 years nursing, raising 2 kids and writing a single novel aren’t much for a lifetime. The first one I checked was a cool guy (in 1972). Back then, cool was bell-bottom jeans, wayward long hair and an ability to smoke pot without looking as though it was the first time. And being ardently against the Vietnam war. This guy was a pacifist to his core and always wore a little silver badge (on his brown corduroy jacket), of two hands breaking a rifle in half. He returned home to Norway where apparently he lead the Red Cross and currently it seems, is providing assistance for the thousands of assylum seekers who have recently arrived in Europe. If there was ever a man who walked the talk it would be him.
Next I looked up a girl I knew and she’s a Professor at a Canadian university – her subjects are women and urban environments. There is an article on Wiki that has a warning at the start of it stating this might be too hard for most people to understand! I saw a Youtube vt of her speaking and it took me back to being with her and absolutely pissing myself laughing. I hope someone in urban planning is equally as impressed.
The more I looked though, the happier I got. The guy I snogged at a party and who taught me a thing or two about massages, seems to be a doctor (nurses are rarely impressed with doctors); and the cool blond chick who always got a hard time from American’s because she was German, appears to be running some PR company in Vienna. I also found someone whom I once thought errudite and strongly political, on Facebook happily showing off a giant mushroom. I started breathing again. And then I thought, why don’t you look yourself up? And you know what? There I was. On Google, looking not too bad. Plus I had achievements – the greatest of which it turned out, was being listed ahead of the Robyn Anderson who knew one of the guys who shot up Columbine. I reckon I’m more like the bubbles clinging to the side of the beer glass than the froth, but who knows when one of those is going to dislodge, float to the top and burst in your nose?