Lately, I avoided meeting a childhood friend who I used to meet while I’d visit my native place. At first, I felt guilty. Later, I realised it was the right thing to do.
With Time People Outgrow Their Old-Self…
the same old-self that was once the core of the old friendship.
You’re meeting your old friend after a number of years. The last time you met him, he was pursuing his Masters, you were working for the big consulting firm. Now you’re VP-Sales at a tech startup, whereas he’s underwriting insurance for a bureaucratic firm. You shake hands, sit across the table and start interacting. At first it is all about going down the memory lane talking about events, reminiscing past. Then the conversation moves to the present, about how good and perfect things are going in your respective lives. Until one of you mentions a failure, a hardship and then the conversation becomes a contest of whose life is more miserable.
The only common point of discussions are —
It gets suffocating, you’re not enjoying the conversation nor the company. You can see the gaps. It is evident but you’re forcing yourself because your idealistic view of friendship demands that you carry on and bear.
Or, may be you can challenge that idealistic sense of friendship and do what’s right. The thing that seems fitting. And, let me tell you, if you do that; it is liberating.
There’s no point in fighting change in a person or yourself. If you can accept the change, give that friendship a try. Otherwise, like I did, put that person in the counter-intuitive list I call — ‘once-friends-now-acquaintance’.
It is as if you knew the old version of the same person, but this person, like an app, has now got an update. Irrespective of it being a better or worse version, your friendship can’t accept that change. It hinders the very premise of your once well established friendship.
That common ground which used to be the bedrock of your friendship is now lost in a distant past.
Yes, I am arguing the case against friendship that’s rendered futile, stale, stagnant by large time gaps of little or no interaction. But, I am not undermining the invaluably precious gift that is friendship.
Next to love friendship, in my opinion, is the most valuable thing life has to offer. — Henry Miller
Trust me, I am still close friends with a handful of my school time chaps.
I have managed to be friends with work colleagues, where it is usually touted to just be friendly but not make friends.
And, I believe in everlasting friendships, that are timeless, effortless, that run on their own. Fuelled by memories, honesty, acceptance and trust.
But sometimes, after a point it is…