Right before I left Toledo I ran into an old friend and it was one of the most awkward things I have experienced in a long time. This guy and I used to be really good friends. The two of us and one other guy were practically inseparable during high school and then we even lived on the same hall for part of college. My last year in college we lived together in a town house with two other guys and yet here we were in an awkward conversation a few (ok, more than a few) years later.
We literally just kind of stared at each other not really knowing what to say. I asked him what he has been up to (you know, for the last 10 years, nothing like throwing him an easy to answer question) and he did the same. We struggled to find any question that could sustain a question for more than a minute or so and yet…we failed.
I left that conversation, or lack-thereof, and had this immediate sense of sadness. We were friends, good friends and yet I barely knew who he was any more. He barely knew who I was either. We didn’t do it intentionally, we just kind of stopped talking to each other, we stopped investing time in each other. Sadly I can look back on my life and see that as a recurring experience.
I have had many friends over the course of my life and it seems like every time one of us moves on we lose track completely. Have you found that to be true for you? Do you have friends with which you wish you would have kept in contact? I can’t help but wonder why I do this, why so many of use lose track of people we once considered possibly as close as family. I have many regrets in my life and this is definitely one of them.
I think this hit me more than normal because I was moving to Germany and it would be harder to connect with my current friends. I have to actually make an effort. I’m hoping my friends will to, but regardless, if I value these relationships (which I do) then I need to act, not just wait for others to act.
Thank goodness for Skype and Google Voice which allow me to text, call and see my friends and family. Now I just need to remember the 6 hour time difference so I don’t wake my brother up again before 6:00 AM. Oops! Sorry Ben!