Monday, January 25, 2010

Connecting with old friends

Last year I got back in touch with my oldest friend after a gap of about 20 years. I know that sounds funny, but a change of cities and different priorities kind of meant that we had just drifted apart. And then getting in touch becomes increasingly risky and awkward - so we didn't.

But something happened to me (I actually can't remember what), and I realised this was ridiculous so I tracked down an email address and sent one off - and there was no reply. So I thought that maybe he didn't want to pick up the threads again. Waited six months, then thought it was worth one more shot and sent off another email. Which worked! So now we are in regular contact and it has added a richness back in my life.

When you have known someone for forty years (that's a long time), then there is a connection and shared history that is priceless. If started now I couldn't know a new friend for that long unless I live to be very old (and probably won't remember half of it anyway). And even better, it's not just him, there are his brothers and sisters that were an important part of my life growing up. The joy I got from going out to dinner with him and his sister last week in Dunedin was out of all proportion to what you would expect.

So... if there is someone out there that you have lost touch with - make an effort. Someone has to make the first move and as you get older you realise it doesn't matter who and anyway who cares? What's the worst thing that could happen? But then look at the upside - if you re-establish contact and still get on well then you've gained an irreplaceable thing back.

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