Old friends are called old friends for a reason. A really smart person once said “You’re not progressing as an individual unless you are abandoning friends on a regular basis“. This totally makes sense to me in so many ways. Popular kids stay popular. Why? Because they never leave their hometown. They hang out with the same friends and do the same things. So how can you claim you’re progressing as an Individual? I don’t think you can. Here’s the difference. Say you just moved back to your hometown and you reconnect with your friend from 5 years old. That time apart gave you time to progress in new ways. That’s how I feel about it anyways.
It’s funny when you reconnect with old friends you grew up with. Things about your past come back into your memory. You transform. One minute you’re someone in a suit and tie that makes a car payment. The next minute you’re 13 years old again and sitting at the kids table for Thanksgiving. That last quote was from a man named Merlin Mann who is on one of my favorite podcast’s called YOU LOOK NICE TODAY. It’s funny and true all at the same time. It’s like when you go home. You’re that kid your mom knows only as “The son of a bitch who broke my god damn windows”. You’re never remembered as the son that killed the spider in 2002. The same thing goes for old friends. No matter how you have changed your life, you’re always going to be the kid that did something embarrassing in science class. Old friends man, I tell you.
Old friends and conversations
Recently I talked with a person from my childhood. Literally, it went like this:
- Me: “Hey man what’s going on? Still kicking holes in pumpkins and doing karate in the basement?”
- Him: “What?”
- Me: “You know, like in Stepbrothers – the movie with that funny guy, Will something, and the other guy who is insanely famous but I can’t remember his name.”
- Him: ” I gotta go, man. Talk to you later”
Instantly, I felt stupid. I had 5 years to come up with something clever. That’s what I chose to say. I feel the same way when I talk to people, from my past, on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll get / send a friends request to someone I went to school with. We were great friends in school. Nothing was out of line and everything was hilarious. At least that’s how I remembered it.
One day I felt like saying hi. I said something like “Remember that one time in English class when you flipped your glasses over and made a buzzing noise like a fly? I think about that a lot“. To be fair, I do think about that a lot. I was not kidding. I received a reply back. “Nope. You sure that was me”? The funny thing here is that I have a friend I see all the time that remembers this event as well. This woman and my friend, the one I’m messaging in this conversation, were even closer as friends during this time. So yeah I’m pretty sure you did this, dude.
[Tweet “You’re not progressing as an individual unless you are abandoning friends on a regular basis”]
Old friends and A.O.L. instant messenger
I had a hard time in school. I wasn’t bullied or anything. I mean, kids picked on me and stuff. It was nothing like this bullying going on today. No one threw my milk at my face. No one threatened to take my life. You get the idea. One day I reconnected with one of my old friends on AOL messenger. Yes, I was 19. That’s what we used when I was 19. We talked for a bit and when I started mentioning something about the past, she tells me that she would love to recall all the times we shared. She was just busy and had to go. She didn’t sign off until 3 in the morning. So I’m 90% sure that she was just blowing me off.
Am I supposed to do something else with old friends? It’s not like we have recent memories together. I’m not the kind of person that ask’s “What have you been up to?”, when reconnecting with old friends. Mostly because it’s been 10 years since we lasted talked. I know they don’t want to catch me up on 10 years of history. So maybe there is something that I can do differently? I don’t think there is.