Sunday, September 6, 2009

People You Once Knew

It's pitiful how you can easily lose touch with people you were once so completely attached to. People you swore were so essential to your being that a day when you would no longer be close seemed unimaginable. And as much as you wish you could, it feels awkward to reach out after so much time as passed.

If you do, what would you talk about? Would you go back to hashing out intimate details like you once did? Or would you say, "I'm ok. Work is busy. Dreadful weather we're having?" If you do run into them, do you make promises to "keep in touch and let's get together" knowing full well a year might blow by without so much as a phone call? Do you wish they'd just pick up the phone - reverting time in doing so - just because you can't muster up the courage to do it yourself because you're too scared to discover time has created two different people?

Funny how one moment you could be sharing your whole life with someone and the next you're wondering if they remember the days when you were inseparable. When you couldn't go anywhere alone without someone asking where your other half was. When you'd pass secret notes in class, struggle through school, analyze crushes, plan a future together, cry on their shoulder, drive around singing along to the radio. People who'd grow to become your mentor, best friend, surrogate parent/sibling, boyfriend, confidante, keeper of all your silly fears and dreams now reduced to "people you once knew."

Strange how you could spend so much time with someone, their speech, their mannerisms, their humor starts to seep into your own being creating this lovely mesh you continue to carry on long after that connection dissolves.

Life happens. You live, you grow, you move on, you try to keep casualties to a minimum. And you carry those little bits you collected onto the next day. You add it to your essence so you enter the next phase just a tiny bit different, changed in some way. Now you tap your nose when you think, you tell different jokes, certain songs make you laugh for some odd reason, you use new slang, you start saying "awesome" and a new list of everyday objects take on new meaning for you.

And no matter how much time lapses, how far back into your memory those moments reside, they still surface with a "whoosh!" once the right thing triggers it. That's when you realize how much you've forgotten and how much it feels like it was all part of a lovely story you once read.

This is for 10 certain people who are slowly becoming people I once knew. I miss the things they used to be for me.



  1. I completely understand this post. I have a few friends that I used to be really close with and over time we have drifted. It's good in a way. I guess it makes room for new people in our paths to share with:)

  2. I realllly understand this post. It makes it so weird when you get back in touch. And it is usually only when something huge happens.

  3. It truly is remarkable how much time changes things, all by itself. What I've found amazing is that sometimes...when you DO reach can feel exactly as it was. With new, grown-up issues to discuss, that connection, that intimacy, that feeling of's all there. :) Sometimes it isn't, and that's okay. This post would sum up THOSE moments of "'s NOT, anymore." But sometimes? It still IS. Surprise yourself with one of those ten. Happy Sunday friend.

  4. you know damn well you got me thinking about who the hell those ten certain people are, lol... good post though, it can apply to so many different people, that i think we all relate.

  5. This post perfectly summed up a friendship I have or had with someone, and it just sort of ended last October. She hasn't called me, and I haven't called her. Not for birthdays, not for holidays, nothing. Things we never missed. It's been really weird not having her around to do things with, but we had started drifting apart, her going in a different direction and apparently not needing me in her life anymore. And that's ok, I'm sure she's ok and I'll be ok. It's just weird, because I figured we'd be friends forever.

  6. Great post!

    It so easily happens, doesn't it? Time moves on, and so do you.

  7. I had this happen this weekend! I went back to camp for a camp reunion and had a blast catching up with people, but one of those folks was someone I was close with and now we aren't. I have no idea what happened! While it was good to see him again--it was also like pulling teeth to come up with more than "how's work", "how's your wife", etc etc etc.

  8. You are so right that this is a part of life. You live,grow and move on. And it is true that some people are put in your life for a "season" only. Remember what you learned from them and the happy times then keep it moving!

  9. I think this happens to us all these days. We move alot so it's especially true! Hugs!

  10. farmgirl paints, yes, but wouldn't it be nice if the people you were close with growing up could still be around once you did, to see you start your family and see if you accomplished those dreams you had when you were younger? I often wonder where they are now. Or at least if it's sunny where they are.

    one dream, well I hope they're only huge good things and not upsetting ones.

    tooj, you're absolutely right, but often times I'm too worried about whether it will be the same or not to reach out so I just let it be. But last night, I did reach out to one of my 10. I saw she was on Facebook and we went on to chat and catch up for about two hours! She was my only roommate in undergrad and with her it's the same. I've only seen her twice in the past...omg...four years. Last time we met up (last summer), we talked for at least 30 minutes before realizing we hadn't even looked at the menu. Early October I'll be driving to her house for the first time to see her, her husband, her now-4-year old that I've only seen once as an infant and meet her almost-1-yr-old :)

    dama, well you're not one of them yet if that's what you want to know. And I think you can think of a couple off the top of your head. The 10 included previous best friends and people I probably mentioned a lot and no longer do.

    chicagolady, aww! Isn't it weird when it just happens for no real reason, no huge fight or anything? And yeah, I actually have a certain birthday coming up next month and I'm not sure if I should/can reach out for that. Though I think he'd feel hurt if I just let it pass by without so much as a hello.

    tori_z, it really does. Staying in touch with people requires WORK. You have to call each other, drive/fly out to see them, e-mail them, stay on top of important events in their lives. It's so easy to get caught up in your own day-to-day that you let those relationships slip.

    kelley, oh man. My 10-yr high school reunion is coming up next year. I'm still close or at least talk to the people I was closest with there, but it'll be nice seeing those I've lost touch with. The small talk is always the worse. I'd rather sit there and fiddle my thumbs.

    kathy, I know, but it's still sad when you realize it's happened again.

    jeannie, yes it does...

  11. Great post! My sister recently cleaned house (per'se) she had one friend in particular that was an absolute taker and she is a generous giver, she painfully rid herself from the takers and is content that they no longer drain her!

    Sassy Chica

  12. Beautifully written Dorkys!

    I have had this happen with a few friends at different points in life. Now when I see them or they send messages on facebook, it is just as you wrote-convos about weather, job, kids and that is it!
    It is sad when you realize that things aren't going to end up like you thought.

    I am very greatful for some of my friends that I have had for a very long time. We always try to make time for each other no matter how busy we all get. It is hard sometimes though to fit everything in!

  13. I get this. I was actually saying pretty much the same thing to a friend of mine - one I've managed to stay very close to over years and years. I don't get how you lose touch, but it happens and when I give it a lot of thought I have to admit it makes me a little sad.

    This is a great post, by the way.

  14. I think Farmgirl is right - you only have so much room (and time and energy) for a number of friends, which I am sure varies from person to person at a time. With luck and good fortune you can pick things up where you left off with someone that "got bumped out" (I don't mean 'maliciously' or anything, they can 'drift away').

    I saw 4 men at my grandfather's reunion pick things up as if they hadn't been separated for 25 years... it seemed like it had only been 25 minutes.

  15. I'm very happy to hear you'll be seeing her! How exciting. :) I love that feeling of re-connecting. It's truly "comforting" to find that friendship again. Some of them we really need. I'll be catching up with you about the book...bear with me. It's been an "eh" weekend, to say the least. Mumbles even got skipped. That's saying a lot. I can't wait to hear about your visit in October.

  16. Very good post. Been there, done that. Not a fun place.


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