In the last couple of weeks, I ran into two people with whom I used to be quite close. One I worked with for a year and a half in a miserable office, run by a miserable man and we found solace in each other. I did anyway. The other was going through something I was going through, for a while there, as well as both of us bringing up three small kids. Both Melinda and Tracey decided to stop calling me for whatever their reasons, amongst many other people in my life. It has long since stopped bothering me. In fact it’s a good thing.
It was brilliant to see them and catch up. I had about ten minutes with each and we all asked the kind of questions that involve summaries, not details, because you both kind of know that you need to cover the big stuff (after about 4 years of not seeing each of them) because you won’t be talking again any time soon. I was so happy to talk to them and hear their news. I am so fond of both of them and my warm hugs for them were genuine.
What made me smile was the ease with which I said goodbye but how they both said ‘We must do coffee/catch up again soon’. I just smiled at them. I wonder if they felt they needed to say that, to make the parting easier, or if there was any guilt on their part. I hope not, because that’s not who I am any more. I’m OK with me, so I am not offended and I hope that if I stop calling someone, because I like my freedom, it doesn’t register for them either. We are all drawn together and apart, depending on the current circumstances and I can still ‘love’ all those people I was once close to, for who they are, without needing to make conversation regularly. They have all touched me, all changed me in some way and left fond memories and understanding about different people. I hope I have done the same for them.
There are so many other awesome people out there waiting to meet me, and I them. Brief encounters are fantastic and I don’t feel the need to hang on to every person like I did when I was younger. You should have seen my Christmas Card list before I stopped sending them!
And who are my true friends? Everyone, all of them. How long does it take to make a connection and appreciate another soul? Sure, I have friends I have known since school, who live on the other side of the world, and we may keep in touch once a year, or occasionally through Facebook, but all are just as precious whether we keep in touch or not. I value the people I meet, for whatever connects us.
And do I get regular calls from friends and go out every week? No, actually and I realise I have cultivated that lifestyle on purpose. Nor do I call anyone. I like my alone time, my pottering and thinking and writing and observing and loneliness does not figure in this life of mine.
So dear friends, I love you all the same and wish you happiness wherever you are and whomever you are or aren’t with, including me. 🙂