Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with some of my friends from last year. Everyone I’ve had the opportunity to speak with again has had no problem picking up where we left off. They’re an amazing group. There is no complaints about how we haven’t been seeing each other; there’s only a mutual understanding that we live busy lives and a desire to reconnect whenever we have the opportunity.
I wish I could have been this understanding with my friends a few years ago. I used to be the friend that got upset when people wouldn’t speak to me on a regular basis. I burned many bridges because of my inability to understand that my friends and I have separate lives outside of each other.
Many of those people were friends I had back in high school. When it was time for us to make the transition to college, I automatically, and foolishly, assumed that we could all maintain the same level of friendship that we were accustomed to. This was perhaps compounded by the fact that I was taking a break between HS and College. It seems obvious now that we couldn’t keep what we had before; our environments, our expectations, our experiences were rapidly changing. What’s more, we were experiencing those changes independent from each other.
I got what was perhaps the most explicit reality check when I came home from college my freshman year. I had a group of friends, through my church, that I had made while taking a year off of school. They all went to college in town so it was easy to visit all of them. Visiting them made me realize that we would never get back those old experiences that we thought we would. Late night runs to the convenience store, lighting off firecrackers in the middle of the night a mile outside the city, pulling pranks on old co-workers, late night jam sessions… those things were affected by externalities that didn’t exist only three months before. People got married, engaged, had kids, spent more time with family, had different circles of friends.
That experience taught me to cherish the moments we have with our friends because we never get those moments back.
So when my friend, who I haven’t seen in a while, asked me to go to the bar with her in order to relive some of the good times we had, I was completely comfortable. I knew that we both knew (confusing, I know) that we were not going to have the same experience that we had before as much as we desired. What makes me comfortable with doing that is I feel we’ll both strive to take something new out of that night.
I don’t think I could have done that a few years ago.