The Common Thread

September.14.2008 at 11:02 pm 9 comments

09/14/2008

Dear Journal,

I think we all have a common thread between the friends (or acquaintances) in our lives.

Whether it’s because we work together … because we have common interests … or because we have similar personalities. There’s always that one .. piece .. of string that holds us together.

But what happens when you don’t have that common thread anymore?

Sure we consider this person or that person our friend, but do we really mean it? We can put friendships into two categories: weak and strong.

Some are weak because they’re not based on similarities or a true connection. You might think otherwise because factors that masquerade themselves, like working together or having common friends, lead you into thinking that.

I got an email from a girl I used to work with … it was one of those, “How are you” emails. They’re short … shorter than my patience with people these days.

Anyways, I was Google’ing and found a blog about losing touch with friends.

It’s just an excerpt, but it sums it up perfectly …..

But that’s one of those facts of life—you lose touch with people. Sometimes, you lose touch and it seems natural, since you were starting to grow apart anyway. Other times, you lose touch and it’s jarring. They became too busy, but you weren’t busy at all. They ended up not caring as much for the friendship as you did. They moved away and weren’t great about keeping in touch with people who weren’t physically close to them.

– Source

The girl that I mentioned above, we use to talk a good deal. Even after I quit we still talked to one another online, but surely and slowly we stopped.

It was gradual, instead of talking every other day it became weeks … instead of talking every other week it became months … and now I get an email once in a blue moon.

I’ve asked her to have lunch or hang out, but it was never convenient with her schedule. It was almost like because of the fact I don’t work there anymore, she didn’t have an obligation to hang out.

So she’ll email me every so often, I’ll reply back and that’s about it. I use to write emails to her, but her responses were short or she’ll reply back a week later.

There were occasions where I asked how she was and depending on if she read that section … she might reply back.

I guess keeping in touch became difficult because I wasn’t there physically. It became awkward to talk to her once we did hang out. Both of us were out of sync with each other’s lives. It was like we were close friends because the only thing that held us together was our job.

That in reality it was a weak friendship to begin with because everything was based on us working together. Without that one common thread, there wasn’t any substance or another thread to be considered “real” friends. 

So I look at the people in my life and wonder of those, how many of my friendships are based because of some preconceived notion.

From Natalie to James to these other people in my life … how many of them are actually real and not fictitious ones that I’ve created.

It’s like a cycle .. you get a job .. meet friends … leave a job … leave friends. If you’re lucky enough, a handful of them will still follow you … if you’re lucky enough.

I think keeping in touch with people who aren’t physically around is the hardest because it takes more of an effort and commitment. We may get lazy … we push talking and making time with friends off to the side, “Oh .. I’ll do it next week”.

And that cycle continues and weeks have passed, suddenly months have passed. By the time you finally find time, it’s already too late.

It is hard, but if it’s important enough, people will make time. Is it easy for me .. no it’s not. Do I try still .. yes I do.

But sometimes, you just have to let go. We surround ourselves with people who make us feel great and there are moments where you have to cut them out of your life because they’re doing more harm than good.

Would I ever do this to though? 

– A

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Entry filed under: Friends, General, Life, Thoughts.

Magic Mountain and Catching Up Racing The Kid

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. trinity2  |  September.15.2008 at 7:30 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this. I have several friends like that that I’ve had to cut out of my life.

    Reply
  • 2. - A  |  September.15.2008 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks … it’s a give and take situation.

    But not everyone you meet at a job are like this though. There are exceptions to this case, I mean I still talk / hangout (sometimes) with people from my previous job. I guess in that situation, work wasn’t a common thread that made us friends.

    It was more than that and I’m lucky and grateful for them. Even at my current job, my co-worker that I sit with still talks and hangs out with this guy who quit last year.

    So there exceptions to this rule, but you never know.

    Reply
  • 3. Fen  |  September.16.2008 at 4:44 pm

    Your post rings true with me. I went away (overseas) for 2 years and a lot of the people I was friends with disappeared slowly out of my life during that time. When I got back and made attempts to see these people they were so apathetic about catching up I gave up to preserve my sanity in the end.

    My best friend in the world has just left to go live in Germany indefinitely. I am determined to preserve that friendship as it means everything to me.

    Reply
  • 4. - A  |  September.16.2008 at 5:16 pm

    Hey Fen,

    Thanks for the comment, it sucks to face that reality. Like you wasted all that time and energy for nothing (well almost nothing because hopefully it taught us who we should be friends with).

    I think it all depends how your friends are. If you’re lucky enough some will stay. Those are the ones worth keeping until the very end.

    Reply
  • 5. Awake In Rochester  |  September.18.2008 at 2:58 pm

    I’m in my 40’s and contacted some people from my past. For the most part it didn’t go well. The passage of time does some odd things. I don’t recommend trying to go back.

    Reply
  • 6. - A  |  September.18.2008 at 11:19 pm

    Time is our worst enemy at times, I think it all depends on the person and the type of relationship that they had.

    Some can pick up right where they left off and some can’t .. it all just depends.

    Reply
  • 7. When It Boils Down « Moments Of Randomness  |  September.19.2008 at 10:25 pm

    […] for everyone’s comments on The Common Thread post. After reading them and evaluating my own life … I’ve come to realize the great […]

    Reply
  • 8. Awake In Rochester  |  September.27.2008 at 3:48 am

    Maybe if it’s only been a few year it’s fine. But the people I got in touch with I hadn’t seen in 15 to 20 years. People around my age do this for some reason. Some I had contacted had changed for the worse. Some of the contacts were fine, but not the same, we didn’t have much in common anymore.

    When you get my age, and think of getting in touch with those from your passed, well, it’s not a good idea. Just keep the good memories good & go forward.

    Reply
  • 9. - A  |  September.27.2008 at 10:08 pm

    I think you’re right about that, time can be on our side … but it can also be our worst enemy.

    Reply

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About Me

The short version: Guy in his late-20's, loves technology (especially Apple) and his close friends, eating ice cream on his bright yellow couch and finally .. I'm gay.

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