This week has been one of reconnecting with the past, and forging relationships in the present. When you are young, you think your friends will always be your friends, that you will be the same person moving through time on a continuous and straight trajectory.
Then life happens.
Your hopes and dreams change, your livelihood changes, you change. And the people you count on, spend time with, love, change too. Sometimes, the people who come into our lives are meant to also leave our lives once their role in our growth has been fulfilled (or our role in theirs). Others we lose to pride, envy, greed, indifference, unresolved issues. These are the losses that can weigh on our hearts.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been reconnecting with some old friends with whom I parted under such circumstances. For years, I’ve thought sadly of these people, wishing we were still part of one anothers’ lives. I’ve felt guilty, because in most of these cases, I was the one who stopped calling or writing. However, even though I regretted these losses, as I felt less confident in myself due to my weight and to the dips in self-esteem stemming from my inability to get a grip on my life, I lacked the heart to make overtures of reconciliation.
What I am surprised by is the generosity of friends who welcome us back into their lives after years of silence. What I am humbled by is the capacity of the human heart to go on feeling friendship and love over gulfs of time.
Since November, I have learned so much about friendship from those of you who have supported my journey. Many people make up the chain of connection that allows me to feel confident stepping beyond my comfort zone, and who help me create the person I am striving to be.
As I bring old friends into my current circle, I feel a sense of wholeness I haven’t felt for a long time. I am reminded of that lovely song I learned in childhood, at Girl Scout Day Camp, Eagle Point Park, Dubuque, Iowa:
Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.
Perfect analogy, because friends, both old and new, enrich our lives beyond measure!