Sometimes the best friends we have are the last people we thought would end up in our lives.
I recently got back in touch with a friend from high school, and while we got along well then, and had mutual interests (such as they are when you’re 16), I had some reservations about renewing the friendship. I’d heard through the grapevine about his escapades through the years, and hard drinking, notorious partying, and a penchant for cute young girls made me think he was not really someone with whom I could cultivate a relationship of any sort. After a solid 3 hours on the phone the other night, though, I realized that not only was this person still the friend I’d had 10+ years ago, but that our friendship has the potential now to grow far beyond the boundaries of 3rd period history.
I have to say, that throughout this experience, as well as a few others I’ve had with getting back in touch with old friends (thank you Facebook), I’m pleasantly surprised when I find out that people I used to be friends with have grown into people that I’m still happy to know, and still excited about getting to know further. This particular friend made a comment about thinking I was pretty, and although it’s a very nice compliment to pay someone, the way it spanned the time-space continuum made it that much sweeter. To find out, years later, that I touched someone’s life, even in a small way, is a gift we don’t often get; too frequently, the effects we have on others’ lives are lost to divergent paths – we change schools, grow up, get married, lose touch; and never have the chance to let someone know that our life was a little nicer, a bit more fun, for having them in it.
The dynamics of friendship, of acquaintances, of the people that pass through our lives, have always intrigued me; I’ve had some really close friends, and some of them have drifted so far away; it really kind of sounds like a sappy 70’s love song, but the truth is that there is a pinhole in the fabric of my being for having lost each one of them. I often wonder if the same is true for people who’ve known me – have they missed me? Wondered what I was up to? Had one last thing to say to me? Wanted some kind of closure on a time in their lives that is obviously over, but has some lasting fragments floating around their heart? And how much would it mean to me to hear those words from them? I’m guessing it would be as lovely an experience as it is to be able to do that for another; in my case, to be able to tell my new-old friend that not only am I glad that he reached out to me all these years later, but that I’m excited to get to know him all over again, and that the seeds of a relatively superficial meeting a decade ago appears to have the makings of a lifelong friendship. I can tell him that I’m proud of the way he’s turned out; that I’m pleased to hear of all he’s accomplished, and I can admit to the tiny crush I had on him way back when. I have the opportunity to tell him how my life is better for having him as a part of it, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
That is what youareremarkable means to me – it gives us the chance to say all the things we are too busy to say, or the things we think are too silly, sappy, or confessional; it lets us brighten people’s lives and in turn, brighten our own. It’s about taking advantage of every moment we’re here to admire the beauty and fragility of life and love, and the glass threads that bind it all together.
-written by siobhan allen