Sunday, January 18, 2009

Old friends

Bou posted a lovely story about thanking a person who had a big impact on her many years ago. Which is quite a coincidence as I've tried to do the same thing the past week.

I've been thinking a lot about friendship lately and what it means to me. Part of that has been looking at my past and the regrets I have for some friendships that I let go. No rhyme, no reason, the friendships where you just gradually lose touch. I think I became too insular, and I took some people for granted, not realising how quickly the years pass and how easily friends can slip through your fingers.

One night this week I had a dream that I met up with an old friend of mine, one I haven't seen for about I'm guessing 16-17 years. When I woke I felt a longing, a wish that it had actually happened. But geez, how do you find someone after that amount of time. And even if you find them, what if they don't want to regain the friendship?

On the off chance that it might work, I googled her. Took a little while, but I found an entry that she was teaching at a college in 2007. There was an email address for the college, so I shot an email across asking if they had an email address for her, wondering if I'd get a response. It sounded like such a spam email .. "Hi, I'm a friend from the past, do you have an address for ...". Anyways, not long after, I got a reply from the college with an email address. I was at work at the time, so had a bit of time to think about whether I'd actually email this lady.

Got home, sucked up my courage, and sent an email, basically saying I regretted letting the friendship go, if she'd like to get together for a drink/coffee that would be cool, if not, no dramas.

Two seconds later, mail delivery failure. grrr

Sent an email back to the college, any other email address they know of?

Next morning got an email back with a home address and phone number. Hmmm ... phone call? Way too confrontational, way out of my comfort zone. Post a letter? I haven't done that for over 20 years ... Plus at this point I wondered if this was a sign, a sign that I shouldn't be getting in contact, it was all getting too hard. Plus, it was starting to feel a bit like stalker behaviour.

Anyways, procrastinated for a while, talked about it with a good friend from work, who encouraged me to send the damn letter, what's the worst that could happen.

So I had a good long think about it, and thought about our old friendship. This lady had a big impact on me, she was always there for me to talk to, and she helped me through some issues. So, I decided to post her, if for nothing else to let her know how much she helped me out back then.

Letter posted last Thursday, let's see what happens.

2 comments:

Bou said...

I think... that I'd have thought the same at first, it was a sign, but then would have thought maybe instead it was a sign that if I REALLY wanted to find them, i'd work on it... which you did.

It can't hurt to send a letter. I think that people NEED to know if they've influenced someone's life. Whether they stay in our lives is another matter, but too often people don't know what they've done and by telling them, its a bit of pay it forward. You don't know what's going on in her life. Maybe she's in a slump and suddenly hears that she really DOES make a difference.

Or... maybe you hit her on a high and it keeps her going.

The thing is... we just do not know what is going on in their lives and it doesn't hurt to say, "You know what, you were good to me, you made a huge impact on my life... thank you."

Amanda said...

Thanks Bou, your words have made me feel a lot better about sending the letter.