Long Lost Friends

I’m not sure how it happens, but some of the best friends I’ve had in my life have faded into the annals of history.  It usually starts out slowly with an unanswered email or unreturned phone call.  One of us moves to a new place.  Then, the email bounces back or the holiday letter is returned.  It’s really hard to not take this personally, but most of the time, I don’t.  I really try to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Most people are busy.  Most people mean well.  Some people get embarrassed when they realize that so much time has passed that they’d rather not rekindle the friendship than touch base and explain that they were busy and meant well, but they lost track of time.  I understand.  I really do.

Sometimes, we grow apart from our friends, and that’s okay.  We may no longer share whatever bond it was that brought us together in the first place.  We may have moved on, and may not have the desire to connect with people who remind us of a different time in our lives.  It’s sad when those things happen, but I’m sure it happens all the time.  It’s really not a reflection of the people involved, but more of what’s going on around us…the other stuff in the mirror behind the person standing there.

Sometimes, some of the best friends we have at the time are purely situational.  For example, I used to sit next to some really cool people in the jobs I’ve had in the past.  But, you take away that connection, and the friendship fades away.  I’ve always tried to maintain friendships, but when it gets harder and harder to touch base, they just quietly pass by the wayside.  Sometimes I accept this and other times I fight it.  Sometimes I have to make myself let people go.  It’s hard, but I do it.

At the same time, some of my best friends were born in a place that no longer exists in my life, whether it be high school, college, or various jobs I’ve had.  Sometimes you just find those people who click, and no amount of distance or time away from them will cause the friendship to wither.

Of course, there are people in my past that I’d just as soon forget.  Oddly enough, some of my best friends are a part of my life because of those people.  They were friends of people I no longer consider friends.  It would be really easy for me to regret parts of my past, but what good would that do?  The past is the past.  It was what it was.  Situations change.  People move on.  I’ve reached the point where I’ve built enough of a foundation with these friends that where they came from is no longer important.  The conduit that brought them into my life has been wrapped up in a piece of What Was I Thinking colored tissue paper and put in the Lessons Learned box under my bed…  I love having the power to pick and choose where my energy goes.

Speaking of where to use my energy, after putting out some feelers, I’ve recently found some of my long lost friends!  It’s a great feeling to finally touch base after all these years.  I love renewing connections and seeing where people are now and sharing where I am, too. 

I’m still trying to touch base with a couple of people.  I haven’t given up on them yet.  I don’t want to take my own “Let it be. They’ve obviously moved on, and you need to too…” advice…not yet.  I’ll give it a little while longer.  It won’t consume my every waking hour, but my door is always open.  If our paths cross again, I’d love to dust off that old photo album and catch up.

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