I went out last night with two friends who, in total, I have seen 4 times in the past 18 years. The last time we met up over 18 months ago, the time before that was 18 years ago. We were sitting there having a drink and it was like we’d only seen each other the week before. It was easy, casual and comfortable. I wondered how we had let this friendship drift for so long.
I like to think that if a friend needs me they know that I’m there for them. I know that in the past I have gone out of my way to be supportive and available when a friend is having a crisis, or just needs to talk. Which is why I can never really understand how some of the people in my life have just somehow, somewhere fallen through the cracks in my life.
In the past few years I have made and lost some really good friends. The reasons that I have lost some are absolutely clear, I am someone who is fiercely opinionated and I “may” sometimes tell them things that they don’t want to hear. Other friends have just either completely cut me off or just drifted away, one month we were together all the time, the next it appeared that something, I’m not sure what, just changed. Other priorities may have got in the way, maybe I said or did something wrong. I don’t know, but last night I realised that that’s ok.
Connecting with people is what is important. Everyone that we associate with becomes inexplicably woven into the fabric of our being. I imagine it very much like a patchwork quilt, with the seams being the constants, in my case my family, running through all of it, then there are colourful patches dotted about in a seemingly random pattern. Sometimes a friend, rather like a patch will come into your life only appear in the quilt once, another patch might appear throughout. They may vanish for a while, then reappear in a different place, at a later stage.
When this happens you will recognise them, maybe you will pick up where you left off, or maybe you will meet up for drinks once in a blue moon and it will feel like you’ve never been apart, and then it may take another year until you meet again. Others it might just feel awkward. You may wonder how you were ever friends at all. Either way, these people have formed your past and may form part of your future.