We can all name someone who seems to know everyone. Amanda (Porter) Carlyle is one of those people. Every time I was with that girl we would constantly run into people that she knew: A friend from high school, English class, or bar the night before. At first I found myself envious of her for knowing so many people in our college town, but then one day I had the best epiphany of my life: I’d rather have good friends than hundreds of friends. Years later I stand by this thought as I wander the streets, mosey around airports, and zone-out on trains, passing possible friend after friend, as well as crazy after crazy. Touché though since you never know where and when you’ll be your soulmate… or your best friend.
For most of my life I’ve been blessed with good friends and commonly find myself surrounded with a fair share of friends (aka acquaintances) too. Actually in high school I was a version of the girl who knew everyone. A social butterfly. Over the years many of those friends have faded from my daily life, but they appear in my thoughts ever now and then- certainly some more than others.. A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the never-disappearing impact that friendships/ past relationships have on us. We’ll call it Fingerprints and you can click on that link to access the post. I may sound like I’m contradicting myself based on what I said in that post, but I want to elaborate more on the relevance of these friends, which we once considered friends.
One of the simplest pleasures in life has to be reconnecting with an old friend. There’s just such a pure joy that seeps through your veins that warms your heart to its capacity after receiving an unexpected call or, in today’s world, that always-appreciated Facebook message. You soon finding that you’re smiling for no apparent reason with that ‘high on life’ feeling. You’re at peace in the moment, while venturing down memory lane. Soon your past doesn’t seem so long ago and you’re surprise how much you remember about that fifteen year old that you once were. Any anxieties have been extinguished and everything appears so clearly. You feel whole…again.
Why is that so? How is it that someone who you haven’t seen or heard from in years can perk you up and make your bad day that much better?
We’ve all heard it before…if you love something set it free and if it comes back to you then it’s meant to be. I’m not sure if I see any truth in this not, and honestly based on my own experiences I have to admit that I wouldn’t let anyone go if I had a say in the matter. I don’t know. My Magic 8 ball of a brain says to Ask again later. But I will say that it appears that sometimes you do have to lose someone to realize how much they mean(t) to you. On the journey of our lives, friends come and (unfortunately) friendships fade as time goes on. We find ourselves replacing those who knew us so well in the past with news faces guiding us towards our future. Those peers that you literally grew up with will never truly know you upon graduation day, and those friends that you make afterwards are your bridesmaids, vacation buddies, and children’s godparents.
So what role do our former BFFs and friends play in our current lives? Afterall they are part of our journey and therefore play a far more significant role than we would have ever gave them credit for during the days of our innocence and naiveté. I could tell you a laundry list of things that my friends from the past have taught and how I look back with appreciation on how they’ve helped me in my personal growth.
When I have the opportunity to go home, with doesn’t happen to often anymore since I’m not longer a 3.5 hour drive away through Ohio & West Virginia, I hardly ever end up seeing any of my friends. Every once in a while I’ll run into a friend at Walmart or perhaps see a friend when walking around our alma mater with my mom. There are friends that I’ll never see again, but I’ll always see them as friends.
I hope you remember me when you’re homesick and need a change. There are so many people from my past that I think about to help me get through those rough days when I just need to remember where I came from. I’m sure you know those days? Or when someone asks me where I grew up and I responded, “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”… I immediately think of friends and those memories in the halls of Hampton High. And when I tell people who I lived in Ohio for college and afterwards, I think of my walks through Athens, nights on Court Street, and many adventures in C-bus.
Song of the Moment: Somewhere Out There by Our Lady Peace