I’ve got a pretty good stable of friends, most of whom I’ve known for quite some time now, but I don’t keep in touch with anyone from school or old jobs despite how much I may have hung out with them at the time. As we would go our separate ways, we would tell each other we’d keep in touch and inevitably we never would. We’d give it a shot at first but it would peter out over time. It isn’t something I was ever really comfortable with though because I’ve grown apart from some good people because of it.
Now the big thing about the ex-work buddies I’d drift apart from was that until I was about twenty-six I just worked in part-time mall jobs. Now that I have a full time office job, I think my ways have been changing because I spend so much time with my co-workers now that the friendship feels more substantial.
Today I had a long conversation with a co-worker, a pretty cool guy named Bill who I’ve worked with for a couple of years now, and it was really eye opening to me because I realized that at some point he and I had become actual friends instead of acquaintances. Bill has been going through very tough times lately, his dad recently died after a long fight with stomach cancer.
We talked about the last time he had seen his dad and it was strange to see how emotional he got, it seemed like he really just needed someone he could talk to and open up with. I was sad for his loss because it obviously still hurt him, but I was really happy he felt like he could do this with me, it was quite a change from the idle chatter we usually have every day. After our talk was over and we went back to work I realized I had just gained a new friend and not just a work buddy.
As I get older I recognize the need to have close friends, people you can open up with and just enjoy spending time with and talking to. And while I wish I could go back and keep in touch with a few other friends from my past, I think I’ve actually hit the point of maturity where I’ll say I’ll keep in touch with someone and actually do it.