I’ve been missing an old group of miscreants I ran around with in my college days. Everyone split up, or died, & I haven’t seen them in almost a couple of decades. And I’ve missed them. I’ve thought about them, remembering how close we used to be, & felt sad because I’ve never felt that close to anyone since. And then yesterday I found them on Facebook.
I’ve always envied people who were able to be friends from childhood all the way into adulthood. As I found them, one by one, I saw that they had all kept in touch with each other. And it was this wonderful thing, them all grown up now & all still like family even though they were all living in different places all over the US. And I found almost all of them, because they were all on each other’s Facebooks.
I looked at picture after picture, feeling awe & wonder & happiness for these people. Frankly with some it was just really wonderful to know they were alive & well. Look at them. Married. Children. In beautiful new places with beautiful new lives. And they looked just like my friends, if my friends grew up.
It’s just that when I was missing them, I felt like the old me. And the old me was missing the old them. Now I’m so different. They’re different. They’ve all kept in touch with each other over the years but I’ve been here on my own. I can’t help but feel afraid that we won’t know each other now. When you miss someone, there’s an assumption that you know them. What if I don’t know them any more? What if we don’t recognize each other?
Is it better to just keep missing them?
I bit the bullet & messaged the girl who had been my best friend before she moved away to Georgia & we fell out of touch. “I searched for you so many times on Facebook & never found you until now!” I said.
“And I you!” came her reply. She asked how I had been. I messaged back a paragraph summarizing the last 20 years. I asked after her.
I’m still waiting for a reply.
It’s only been a day.
I still miss them. But now it’s a different kind of missing.
6. Real friends care enough to find you. And then speak to you.
Update: my old friend did take a few days to respond, but since then we have sent a few messages back & forth. We’re both radically different people compared to the two girls who had all sorts of adventures together. But I think we’re both glad to be in touch, & although I don’t think we have much in common any more, it’s just nice to be back in touch.