I've been pondering relationships in general and friendships in particular the last while.
I'm not sure if this is because over the last few months I've been reconnecting with people who were important to me during my wayward (!) youth, or if I'm approaching some sort of mid-life crisis. However, since I refuse to believe I'm anywhere close to mid-life (denial RULES), I'm going to go with the reconnecting.
Without delving into my history too much, many of the ties I had 20+ years ago have basically been severed. Parents deceased, sister estranged, other family a distance away after moving, school friends drifted. I know that's relatively normal (we all know how time flies and other such handy catch-phrases), and the friends I've made over the last few years have been amazing and wonderful (yes, I do mean YOU!). I've been adopted into my husband's family, and by several other families I've met as well. Since it boils down to choices I've made that created my current reality, I didn't particularly think I was missing anything...truly, I'm the happiest I've been in memory. Although to be fair, since I'm over 40, that really isn't saying much...most days memory consists of trying to make sure I'm wearing pants when I leave the house.
Until I reconnected. I didn't even realize there had been something missing until it was filled. Bonds that had been created when we were all at very impressionable ages, the ones that help shape how we relate to each other and the world around us. Those people are cemented with those experiences just as surely as I lived through them. People I was close to, who know *that* me - the me that is the basis for who I have become. The me that wasn't touched by the experiences of my 20's or my 30's.
Okay maybe I'm the only one with a split personality. ;)
But the point I'm making is that these people come in and out of my life and they bring me myself again. They remind me of who I started as, and still am really, deep down, when I forget. They remind me of the dreams, the plans, and the "what-ifs". They're the "comfortable pair of shoes" (sooo stolen) that slip on and the years melt away as if they were nothing. (Oh yes, given the chance, I'd so put my feet on you!!! BWAHAHA! But you love the Pammie germs, you know you do!)
And I feel the gap disappear. It's not that I don't like myself now. It's not that I'm unhappy. It's just that the small empty part of me gets filled. I hope that in return I complete some little part of them, or in some way make things a little brighter than they were. It's the least I can do for the blessing they continually give me.
Because I truly think it's important to know that you have meaning. That even after so many years, and so much distance, we're all still here. Ourselves.