What a peculiar invention, friendship. I may not take a whole lot of things seriously in life, but if there’s one thing I don’t mess around about, it’s my friends. From as long as I can remember I have always been passionate about the people who I can call ‘amigo’. I remember moving from California to Illinois just before the 4th grade. Some kids were playing basketball so I started playing with them and by the end of the day we were like old chums; checking out each others houses and borrowing each other’s video games and so on. I’m sure it’s different for everybody but when you’re younger it just seemed a whole lot easier to make friends. And when I made those friends, I always just assumed we’d be best buds for life. I wouldn’t have said that out loud, I’m sure the thought never even crossed my mind, but had you asked me if we would still be hanging out a year from now, I would’ve said “Of course!”.
As I have matured and gotten a bit older I have learned much about the importance and the nature of friendship. I’ve learned that time and distance can tell us much about how genuine our relationship really was, at the very least if it was based on a solid mutual foundation. I realized once I made that move to Illinois I didn’t have a whole lot to talk about to my best friend of three years(and that’s a big chunk of life when you’re not even 10 yet). Having moved all over the US I’ve seen this firsthand. Time/space is not a wedge, it just stretches what is already there. Not without a little effort, some people we will remain friends with in spite of being separated by time or space.
Something else I learned at a young age: with a general exception of family, most of the of bonds we make, or the people we meet will only be an intrical part of our lives for a season, maybe two. My assumption is that if you take a moment to reflect on this you’ll find it to be true in your own life. I learned this potentially painful lesson for the first time in the 6th grade. A family with a son the same age as me moved into a house on our street in the summer, and we were instantly inseparable, we even shared the same name. He was the kind of person you could get into an all out fist-fight with, and then 30 minutes later share some pizza while watching a movie(yes that happened at least once). But sometimes good things come to an end, and his dad got transferred to Oregon. So we said our goodbyes and tried to keep in touch, but it quickly deteriorated into a family card at Christmas time relationship. But the feelings don’t go away so quickly.
Sometimes for periods of our lives it seems like we get to spend every waking moment with those that we love. It gets to the point where it feels normal, it even feels right. But then someone starts to move in a different direction, or isn’t around as often, and so you find yourself reminiscing about “back in the day” when the whole gang was there. And while we may be blessed to have reunions from time to time, it will never be the exact same as it was originally; for better or worse we are not stationary beings. We are constantly changing, evolving, learning, forgetting, striving, and resisting things all around us, so that the next time we meet, we bring something new to the table.
I recently spent some time with a friend who I won’t see for a while. They are moving on to the next season in their life, and that is something to be happy about. But I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt a bit to know there will be a vacuum of space the next time everyone gets together and they’re not there. But in avoiding the quicksand that memory lane can be, there is always a good to look forward to; of making new great friends, more people that will change your life forever. The possibilities are endless. And hey, who knows, but I think there’s a pretty good chance you’ll get to meet those special people again someday.
“All who share it will be our companions; but one or two or three who share something more will be our Friends. In this kind of love, as 「Emerson」 said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth?–Or at least, ‘Do you care about the same truth?’ The man who agrees with us that some question, little regarded by others, is of great importance can be our Friend. He need not agree with us about the answer. ” -C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves