Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Catching Up With Friends

We've all had friends we've, for whatever reason, grown apart from. It could be they moved far away, your common interests diverged, there was a traumatic experience, they got married... whatever, really. The end result was that you lost touch with that friend. It sucks but it happens. In time, though, there are moments when you have a chance to reconnect with those friends and, to me, this is the litmus test to prove whether that friendship was solid or a matter of circumstance.

When you haven't seen a friend in a long time (I'm talking months or even years) when you get back together for that "reconnecting" moment, the results are almost always the same and fall into two different situations.

The first result is the awkward, "umm... so... how you doin'?" situation. Let's face it, with some friends you were friends at the time because of one shared interest, a forced living arrangement, or out of necessity. It's these quasi-friends it is hard to reconnect with. Your common frame of reference can no longer sustain what you had, especially if one or both people have moved on from what used to bring them together.

I'm not advocating that you don't try to stay friends or stay in touch with these types of friends because that connection isn't there, but if you can't find a new connection to build or rebuild that friendship, it's probably best to temper the expectations of where that friendship will go and what levels it can possibly attain going forward. You may never have that "close" friendship that you used to have.

On the flip side, there are those moments where you see a friend you haven't seen in ages and, despite the amount of time that's gone by or the amount of things that have changed, it doesn't feel like a single moment has passed since you last saw each other. It's these moments that let you know you have something more than a superficial commonality drawing you together in your relationship. There's something deeper, more refined, and almost unidentifiable that speaks to you both and reminds you that you actually know each other.

These are the friends you know that will always be there, no matter what changes. Sometimes you don't even know that some of your friends fall into this category until you are away from them and you come back together.

...and with that, I'll bring today's run in with sentimentality to an end.

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