I was thinking last night about how friendships evolve. Sometimes they wane and fade off into the night. Others get stronger. Others change because your life/interests change. That’s just the way it goes.
When I moved here in 1999, I knew 2 people. They were both co-workers who I worked with in NY and they both had transferred here. Well, let me back up. Before I left, people at church were giving me the names and numbers of all their relatives. So, I knew of people here, but some I hadn’t talked to in years. This was well before Facebook. So for all intents and purposes, I knew – and was in touch with – 2 people. LOL!
So, I moved here, and my life became a routine of going to work and being at home. Then my old choir director moved here and started singing with John P. Kee’s choir, and invited me to come to that church. I got there and ran into someone I met in college at the INROADS Summer Venture in Management Program. It really is a small world.
I began to get to know people at work, and hang with them outside of work. Through that set of people, I met more folks. Eventually, I had a nice little social network, and my sister stopped calling me every Friday to make sure I was “ok and still alive.” LOL!
I eventually left that first job, and ended up at another company where I met a lot of cool people. Several of which I am still in touch with, even if it’s just occasional communication. That group saw me off on my big adventure to ATL…which only lasted 2 years. But I noticed the same thing in ATL: I met friends at work and then my network branched out from there.
The drawback to that is, when you stop working with them, you tend to lose most of those connections. When I was in ATL, single and stepchildless, I had friends who I could call on a moments notice and be like, “let’s hit Olive’s/Golden Glide/pig out on food somewhere” and we would just go. Everyone I worked with was my age or younger, for the most part. I really had a ball.
When I got back here, we stayed in touch for a little while, but then I noticed I was doing most of the reaching out. I got tired of that, so I stopped. I fell back in with my old friends here, and added some new faces to the crowd. But, things had changed. The carefree, single folks were now in relationships. Folks who were already married were deep into child-rearing and their lives revolved around their kids. The dynamics changed. We still hung out occasionally, but it was just different. Not better or worse, just different.
It feels like we’re going through another shift again. Some of them have kids old enough for high school and college. Some are newly married. Some have young children. I’m about to get married myself, and now have a 15 year old step son. Conversations revolve around the best schools, parenting tips, etc.
At my last job, there was a group of women that I enjoyed hanging out with. We used to have “girls’ night in.” I loved it because it was that new set of women, plus some of my friends I knew from before. Since I’ve left, and they’ve been laid off, we haven’t kept in touch that much. I always seemed to be the one to host the night, and if I don’t initiate, it doesn’t happen. Oh well.
Sometimes I miss the good ol’ days. I really had some fun when I first got here. Every now and then I miss the old friends and the times we had. It’s good to reminisce.
At 37, I’ve gotten a little better at rolling with the punches. Lord knows I’ve been through enough moves and job changes that I really don’t have a choice! It’s just nice to sit back and think about how life has changed since I left home at 24.
I hope everyone I’ve met realizes they’ve had an impact on my life in one way or another. Even if we don’t speak anymore, I appreciate whatever lessons they shared with me.