With social networking sites it’s fairly easy to find people I’ve previously lost touch with. This week I came across two people that used to be a very big part of my life.
One of them was my childhood friend I had known since I can first remember as we lived in the same house and our parents were close which led to us going on holidays together. We went to the same school walking together every day, sitting next to each other and played together at breaktimes. Later I stayed with the family for a few weeks as a we moved and I wouldn’t have been able to attend school from the new location though once we moved we lost touch. We were ten years old at the time. I clearly remember what he used to look like though, judging by his current profile picture, I wouldn’t be able to recognise him even if I’d meet him!
The other one was a friend I had all the way through secondary school. We lived in the same street though didn’t go to the same school and she was the year above me. We had many things in common, like reading, both did voluntary children’s work and spent a lot of time together. She and some friends even came to visit me when I went to school in England for a year when I was 16. We didn’t so much drift apart as ending our friendship on a negative note. We had both changed a lot and with it our priorities and views on life. I disagreed with her shift in faith and her boyfriend she later married and even though we tried to remain friends after I came back to Germany a year later I didn’t fit in with her new activities and, following some arguments, we ended the friendship. The last time I saw her was in 2004 when I was back in Germany for a couple of days and ran into her on the bus where we casually talked, although several mutual friends mentioned her regularly and still do.
I considered sending a friend request to both of them, but decided not to in the end. Going to England for a year back then changed me a lot which is one of the reasons I found it difficult settling in again when I returned. Their lives in comparison hadn’t changed that much, they remained living at home going to the same school with the same people. retrospectively I realise that neither one of us could see the other point of view well, but that’s too late now. Looking at someone’s profile I last spoke to on the day of my 11th birthday which is afterall 16 years ago didn’t seem like a good idea at all!
The search was sparked in the first place by searching for a picture of one of the children’s events we both did. Combining both our names the result showed, amongst other things, an interview she did for a very local newspaper following her new job. The interview was very selective, she changed details of her past and took sole credit for some of the things we both coordinated.
Strangely that didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I remember the things we accomplished or the things I did with other people. I remember the children I used to work with and also the friendships to the other volunteers and having my name attached to something or being mentioned, even if not by name, in an interview doesn’t mean anything. It is exactly the reason I wouldn’t want to get in contact with her any more though. It has been eight years since we fell out, she has since married a her boyfriend I never liked anyway and she is happy in her jobs and various volunteer things she does elsewhere. She felt the need to change details about her past which makes me realise that there isn’t any point rekindling any form of friendship.
And that’s good, it gives me closure and doesn’t make me wonder about the possibilities in those moments when I get nostalgic.