I ran into an old friend today who I hadn’t seen in probably a year, so when I turned the corner and she was standing there I literally did a double-take. It’s funny how our brains do that when we’re surprised, like a camera trying to focus when the zoom is engaged. I looked at her and it was like absolutely no time had elapsed, but at the same time as if it had been an eternity since I had last looked into her eyes. But there she was, and I hugged her tightly for a moment wondering how I had let so long pass without seeing her in person.
But we do it so often, especially these days, all of us. We let social media surround us so that we keep in touch without keeping in touch. We see each others’ photos. We like and comment on each others’ witticisms. We even text each other when we’re in the same room. Yet, how often do we honestly make time to get together as friends, to share some time, some honest to goodness conversation, or some food? I know I don’t do it nearly as much as I’d like, especially with those who I talk to the most without actually talking to them.
This friend of mine, we used to work together a long time ago, so we spent time with each other on a regular basis. Those were good times, but then I moved on, and we lost touch, then reconnected on Facebook, but it was never the same. And I guess it isn’t supposed to be. When we move on from a place our time is now taken up by the place and the people we move on to, while those who stay get consumed by others who move in to take our place. It’s only natural. But there are some people who mean more, who are special people, and it hurts all the more when we lose touch with them. This friend of mine is one of those special people.
So I checked the box for “regrets” once again today, promising myself we wouldn’t lose touch again, that we wouldn’t allow ourselves to be merely “social media friends” anymore, because that’s not all I want. I don’t want to just see comments and photos. I want to be as close as we used to be, talking to each other often, actually talking, and knowing what’s going on in each others’ lives, not just what we deem worthy enough for our acquaintances to know online. And I think she wants that too, or at least I guess I hope she does, because even though time has passed I know we could return to that if we both wanted it.
It’s interesting to me how life sometimes comes full circle, and friends come back around again for a reason. Always for a reason. And I’m embracing this friendaissance, if just for now.