It is almost the end of July in the year 2016. Time continues to speed up and I realize how precious every day is and how it is important to simply stop and appreciate being alive as well as spending time with family and friends. So many go through life in a daze chasing evermore money in the hopes they can buy happiness later. Happiness is always with us if we choose to stop and notice it.
A few updates: My long time friend Ana has moved to Florida. Although I’m sad to see her go I wish her well and hope she’s able to accomplish what she’s set out to do. At the same time another long term friend Laurel moved from Santa Rosa to here! I haven’t reached out to her yet but will here soon.
I do have to say that sometimes with my long term friends (known for almost 20 years or so) I seem to be the one doing the reaching out the majority of the time. Time makes friendships fade; without any effort to occasionally renew them old friendships become nothing more than a shadow in the past, an old memory.
As it is summer I see a lot of ‘kids’ out and about with their college t-shirts on, at the cafes talking about their studies and experiences with old high school friends. When I’m lucky enough to be near a conversation I’ll do a bit of eavesdropping and smile at their innocence. They’ll talk about all their trials and tribulations which are nothing more than a small stone thrown in a pond compared with the tempests they’ll experience later on in life. Their conversation also sends me back in time to when I did the very same: summertime meant meeting up with all my old high school friends, drinking some beer, feeling really grown up! We had left the small confines and hand holding of high school for the big time where nobody would punish us if we did not attend class. It did not occur to us yet that we still had our hands held, only this time by an institution that had no qualms about letting go should we not meet the standards.
And so, as I listen to these young people speak with such excitement to their old friends I know from experience that there is very little chance they’ll still be meeting up for coffee and to discuss experiences 20 years later. The youthful excitement will have faded as they will have carried the full weight of life for some time; their current problems will not matter and perhaps be forgotten entirely. Life will have taken them places they did not expect to go and for all the careful planning, fortune may have made other arrangements.
As I sit here writing about the rapidity of time and the importance of friendships I’m reminded that I should reach out to Laurel and welcome her to our Bay Area community! I too become lazy and sometimes fail to maintain friendships as they should be maintained. Sometimes the devil on my shoulder says “perhaps they just don’t want to talk to you, that is why they do not reach out.” I think many people have that devil on their shoulders and his voice gets louder as we get older. Adults are actually more awkward than children when it comes to friendships and they find making new friends extremely difficult. That devil does get into my ear but he is wrong and a liar.
I wonder why it is that adults are more awkward regarding friendships than children? Perhaps because most friendships were made in the close confines of school. Out in the wild, wide world one is not accustomed or have the skills to easily make friends with people they do not see on a daily basis, with whom they have years of the same experience. Adults can also be shy and afraid to take the initiative to make a good friend. Most friends in adulthood are made as ‘family friends,’ perhaps with children of similar ages or again, children attending the same school. A friendship of the same magnitude as those made in high school or college are as rare in adulthood as finding a diamond in your lawn.