Friday, September 10, 2010

#77 - Missing Old Friends

I find myself feeling a bit melancholy tonight. Teresa is sleeping, and Christopher is watching television, and I am alone with my thoughts. Checking out Facebook tonight, I am drawn to thoughts of old friends.

In a sense, I suppose I use the term friend a bit loosely. When I knew most of the people who crowd my thoughts, I didn't really know how to be a friend. I didn't know how to invite them into my life or how to be a part of theirs.

So I guess what I am really drawn to is thoughts of lost opportunities. I find myself thinking of people I once worked with, people I wish I had known better at the time. I also find myself thinking of people who slipped out of my life.

Of course, things change, and change is not always bad. If things had not changed, if I had not kept moving from place - running from something or in search of something - I would never have met Teresa, and we wouldn't have Christopher. But even good change can be tinged with a bit of pain.

Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with a good many people I knew in my younger days. At the same time, it has shown me a glimpse of what might have been if I had been more approachable or better able to connect with those around me.

Connection is a big word with my therapist, both making connections and dealing with those connections that have been broken. Making connections is something I have struggled with my entire life. I'm sure she would suggest that connections broken early on have something to do with that.

I never got close or let others get close to me. In a way, it is a variation on the old Groucho Marx line, "I would never belong to any club that would have me as a member." In a way, I applied that to friendships.

In some sense, Facebook has allowed me to turn back time, but most of the friendships are filtered through distance in addition to time. In a way, I suppose that makes sense. When I was younger, my relationships were all filtered through emotional distance. Now the distance is physical. I'm not sure one feels any better than the other.

I hope in the coming days any of you reading this will let your friends know that you are thinking of them. I just did.

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