When I think back on my life in America, I get a bit sad. Mostly when I think of friends that I've lost contact with and will probably never fully stay in touch with at all. As I drove home today, with a sleeping baby in a quiet car, I got to thinking about what I call my 'secondary' group of friends I had in college (listening to The Paper Hearts gets me thinking of old times). You know what I mean by secondary; often you've got your first group of friends, then a second group you see less often and so forth. The Paper Hearts and that crew were my 'second' group. But then I began thinking of individual people who were more than just secondary friends.
First I thought about Lincoln McCurdy. He was in that group, but he was much closer than some people in my primary group. We hung out a lot, mostly in JR's (the bar we all frequented), but once I got engaged, and became engrossed in wedding and moving preparations, we lost a little contact. Now I have no contact with him at all. I miss him.
That led me think briefly of Chris Lankford, another JR's pal. Which led me think of Ryan Russ, with whom I'd drink Guiness at JR's and talk theology. I still every now and again say hello to Chris on MSN messenger, but Ryan could be anywhere in the world now and I'd never know where. I miss both of them sometimes too.
Then I started thinking further back to high school. No one knows how our old friend Zac is doing, which saddens me. I usually trust Devon to keep me abreast of the gossip surrounding our high school friends, but even she has lost contact with Zac. Zac and I shared some good times; I hate that I'll probably never hear much from him again.
And so on. Not only have people passed out of my life because of natural progression, but they are so much more out of my life now that I live in a different country. I can't just call one of them up and say, 'It's been so long! Fancy meeting up for an hour just to catch up?' No, my old friends are sadly a part of my very distant (literally) former life.
It's not all sad though. I still keep up with a few people through blogs and gossip, and a few people, like Amanda and Devon and Julie, are still friends, despite the distance. And of course, I've made friends here. Friends I'd really miss if I left. Friends I'm finally beginning to feel myself with. I don't feel all that sad when I remember that. I was driving home from having spent all morning with Carol, Maria and Liza, and I had a great time.
Most importantly, I still have my family. Not just my extended families, but my own little intimate family: Scott and Fifi. I think I could go anywhere as long as I had them. So I'm not really sad at all. Sure at moments I get a bit down thinking about the past, but old friends are always a part of life, no matter who you are. We all probably think of old friends who once were so close and wonder where they ended up. I often think of my friend, Amber, from Junior High. Who knows where she ended up? She was my best friend. Then she moved away unexpectedly and that was that.
Oddly enough, however, sometimes totally unexpected people from your past show up and re-enter your life completely. Jeff Brown ('The Chicken Farmer') now lives in Edinburgh with his Scottish wife. I gotta make a point of keeping them around.