I spent the first 24 years of my life in the same house. I lived on campus during my first year of college, but I never really considered it home, and after that first year, I became a commuter. I was never particularly adventurous.
Since then, I’ve moved four times and had seven jobs. I’ve met a lot of people. Most of them didn’t leave much of a mark on me. I met them, maybe laughed with them, learned some things about them, and moved on. They might give me a passing thought now and then, as I do them, but nothing more.
I sometimes talk about how Facebook and other social media have allowed us to disconnect in some ways, and I still believe that. But I’ve also been able to connect with other people I’d lost touch with. I stay connected with childhood friends and family. Though I may not follow their daily lives, I can see how they’re doing and how they’re children are doing. It’s a really nice thing that would have been difficult and unlikely in a pre-technology world.
There are a handful of people who’ve been important to me, who I’ve lost contact with for one reason or another. There was a guy I worked with at Wal-mart, and we didn’t stay in touch when I moved to a different job. There was a couple who my husband and I hung out with. We moved out of that area abruptly and during a period of transition, lost touch. I don’t remember their last names.
I think about them, and others, from time to time and wonder what’s happened to them, how they’re doing, and where they’ve been. I’d love to reconnect with some of these people, just to know how they’re doing.
When I started moving on, leaving people behind, I didn’t think of it that way. For the first two decades plus of my life, I’d stayed put, so I didn’t think about the effort it takes to stay connected.
I’m grateful for our connected world, but I’m also aware that real connections take effort. And if someone is important, they’re worth the effort. Sometimes people get left behind, and that’s okay too.
I’ve been the person that’s been left behind, and I have to remind myself that people don’t always do it on purpose. There are a lot of reasons to lose touch with someone.
That’s why it’s so important to really enjoy the people I’m with, be in the moment with them, without cell phones or distractions. If I lose touch with them, I’ll have had those great moments. It’s okay to move on, to have different friends or different interests.
None of us stand still. Or we shouldn’t, if we’re growing.
Have you had an experience of losing touch with a friend and wishing you could reconnect?