Have you ever taken notice of how you try so hard to re-establish a relationship to no avail? No, don’t get too many ideas; I know what you’re thinking. Am not talking about that kind of relationship, am actually referring to friendship, and an attempt to reunite with long lost friends; especially from school- elementary/primary, secondary/high school, tertiary institutions and friends from your old neighbourhood. Am sure am not alone on this…So, I asked myself this question, “why hold on when you can and should simply let go”? Answers? Anyone? I’ve got a few of mine…read on!
Alright, perhaps I shouldn’t limit this subject to friends alone. It happens in families too; extended or close relations. They say out of sight is not out of mind. And that absence makes the heart grow fonder (or is it further). Am sure some people would bet to differ and I can’t really blame them for this difference of opinion. I personally feel the foundation of a relationship has a lot to do with connecting and reconnecting. With families, it isn’t circumstantial because you’re already bounded by something strong-blood! So even when you may not necessarily want to be close to someone, being families sort of compel you to. You sure may have your favourites, but you’re families and that’s that.
Now when it comes to friendship, we sometimes misinterprete the true meaning of friendship because, we do not differentiate between an acquaintance and a friend, or even a colleague. We just throw in the general term of’ my friend from so-so and so’. And in the end, you will discover that, if for any reason you happen to be apart, you would not miss that individual. Yet, you are not conscious of this feeling. Take for instance, while you were in school, you all would graduate from whatever level you are to somewhere else at some point. And let’s just assume you used to hang out together way back, visit each other after school hours and all. Then you find yourselves living in different places as it could happen. You may try to continue the friendship but one thing would be missing in this case- visiting! However hard you may try, the distance that has been created between you cannot be bridged by phone calls and messages not even Skype with a webcam can replace that. You probably would have taken a walk together or just go for some refreshments were you to meet in person. You would also hug each other (for real people, not smileys or some virtual hug on bbm). All these you would have to try so hard to make up for, but it just can’t suffice. You may try to visit occasionally, but it still isn’t the same if you’d now have to transport yourself there. Meanwhile, you used to stroll to your friend’s back then.It doesn’t make you a bad person; it is just reality- that you may find hard to accept. So what makes you think you have to hold on to that friendship? It is called ‘memories’; reminiscent of those good old days’…you look back, smile and then ask the obvious question-“what went wrong”? My fellow ‘wonderer’, nothing went wrong---that change is called L-I-F-E! While you were together, you don’t really worry about the future. You are happy seeing each other sharing jokes, daily experiences, seeking admonition, laugh together, cry together and even wear same clothes at times. You are so caught up in the moment that you wouldn’t want to consider the possibility that; you may not get to do this for life. But when reality happens, you still put in efforts to try and rebuild what you used to have. One person may be trying harder than the other. In some cases it may be that one is busier than the other. You may leave school together, it doesn’t mean you’d graduate together, get married so close apart or have kids simultaneously. These things happen in turns, and it’s different for everyone. While one person’s livelihood allows free time for socializing, the other maybe so caught up you even forget the password to your social sites (that shows how long you’ve made use of the “alternative” means of “reconnecting”)…You see what I mean!
And there are some people, who are a sort of ‘link’ to other friends. There may be this one friend from high school or college who keeps tap on almost everyone, one way or another. And you may just be fortunate to be in the circle of friends of such person (some are born that way, don’t even try figuring out how they do it). And there is also the occasional ‘just checking up on you friend’. After the reunion, this friend drops a line or two once in six or four months, just to know you’re okay. For those friends, if you do your research well, you’d find out they must have been close at some point way back. Besides the fact that you make new friends, it also goes to show that something (like a hobby or career, family obligations in some cases) has filled that vacuum. So rather than feeling a little ‘worthless’, and ‘unappreciated’, just accept the reality of life which happens differently at different stages to us all. As clichéd as it may sound- “Life goes on”…We cannot be stuck in one place, so we’ve just got to keep moving. If there’s a need to reconnect with an old friend, do so. If the friend is not as responsive as you expected (flashbacks don’t help here), accept it and move on. You may hold on to the old memories of ‘back in the days’. But never expect things to go back the way they were (that’s more like a fairytale in a Disney movie). The truth is, we keep discovering ourselves as we grow older. We cannot expect everyone to remain the same. We grow and our priorities change (fact of life). Do not be angry with a married friend who is choked with house chores and family obligations; plus or minus career. Except that individual has always being a snob and a ‘ wanna-be’ (making others feel less important), don’t make assumptions. You actually have to know a little about the personality of someone before you can make such conclusions. It is very easy to assume that, in this present age and time, technology has made communication way easier that even a text message shows you care. You may be surprised to find that some don’t even make use of that resource (like those who prefer to call). In such cases, they may end up not calling at all because they just never get the space to do so…keep what you can, and let go of what you can’t. It’s no use exhausting your energy with an attempt to reconnect a relationship that may not serve you a purpose. And when you’re trying to reconnect, re-evaluate as well. Ask yourself what role that individual would be playing in your life. If there’s really a need to reconnect-you may be in the same field for instance. And that means you share something in common at least (professional friends). Just establish what you stand to benefit from that friendship (am thinking mutual benefits here). Don’t make the friend another statistics so you can boast of having ‘many friends’ (are they still giving out an award for that?). Remember, there are friends and there are acquaintances. Sift the shafts from the grains…Best wishes!!!