Value In Reaching Out

I've considered reaching out to an old friend that I lost touch with (circa 2003). If we were being honest, she was more than a friend at one point and, as most things turn out during our formative years, she turned into a fleeting memory (Great white Buffalo) that would occasionally come up from time to time. Since the city is small, we would inevitably run into each other over the years. We were "respectful" in that we would acknowledge one another, and off we would go on our separate way with our separate friends - so healthy. It's hard to believe that at a moments notice one can be so close, and then be strangers the next. The heart of the matter is that I have never felt fully understood by another human being than I did when I was with this person. This may not have been rooted in reality, but at least it felt that way. Back in those days, you would actually talk to people on the phone - four hours - while simultaneously watching the Simpsons, Buffy, and Electric Circus on Muchmusic....Anyhoooow, you really got to know someone back then is my point. In retrospect, the first thing I had to ask myself was, "would this be beneficial to the other party, and would I be reaching out for more selfish reasons?" Did the "me" portion outweigh the "we" portion? After balancing the two, it leaned more towards the "me" - so I nipped the prospect in the bud almost immediately. Since we are now in our late thirties, we are (hopefully) very different people than we were back then. But every once in a while, I think about us finally meeting again as old friends - not as heartbroken teenagers - over coffee or a pint - cracking jokes. As a realist, I don't see this ever happening. Thoughts of distant memories in Kerrisdale, 41st and Granville, Wendy's, Metro, UBC pool, and Oakridge Mall Movie Theatres will more than suffice "respectfully."

17 Comments

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Anonymous

Nov 1, 2023 at 9:07am

A friend just passed away suddenly, shockingly. A log from a truck, like final destination 2 but real life. She left behind a husband and 3 young kids. I have since felt a strong urge to reconnect with people (mostly one particular person) from the past. I'm not sure if I will... but we never know how long we have left. And if people are important shouldn't they know...

14 2Rating: +12

Never hurts

Nov 1, 2023 at 11:59am

I reached out to a friend I haven't spoken to in years as they are stuck in a very recent conflict zone and I wanted to give them my support and let them know I am thinking of them. They responded with kindness and are happy I made the effort. Never romantically involved but we worked together. Super glad I took the time to find them and know they and their family are safe so far. Life is too short, isn't it?

12 2Rating: +10

Love it!

Nov 1, 2023 at 4:30pm

Being in the same age range as you, I really love this confession and the cultural memories it evokes. Bravo!

I think the very fact you're considering how reaching out may potentially impact the other person shows that you're a solid human and that rekindling the connection—or at least meeting up for an evening and reliving the memories—is a definite possibility.

Think it over and go for it if it feels right? Just my two cents.

8 2Rating: +6

Frances Harder

Nov 2, 2023 at 7:25am

If you have been running into each other and there have been no comments about taking things up again, do both of you a favour and leave it at that. I (female) had to ditch a best friend (female) years ago. She has now taken to showing up at my home unexpectedly, and it's so uncomfortable when she parks herself on my couch and goes on and on about her life. The friendship was very unbalanced, and unhealthy, and she chose to interfere with other friendships we mutually had. Let sleeping dogs lie.

4 7Rating: -3

So many people

Nov 2, 2023 at 10:46am

I would never waste another second on.
Reaching out is not the answer.
Finding good people is the answer.

6 5Rating: +1

Darling Buds of May

Nov 3, 2023 at 6:01pm

You may have lost a friend but those eternal memories won’t fade. Maybe that’s the problem. I ponder and YOU wonder.

3 0Rating: +3

Anonymous

Nov 3, 2023 at 8:38pm

Time moves forward and it's supposed to be that way. You can never go back. Find a new person to love. After all there are almost 9 billion people on this planet. You will only break your heart thinking that someone from the past ever really cared. If they really cared they would be there for you !

2 1Rating: +1

Out of the past

Nov 4, 2023 at 4:42pm

Former friends suddenly showing up has never turned out well for me, the last time it happened it turned out the guy was looking for someone to do heroin with - this isn't something we did when we were teenagers. I could only pity his mother who was a lovely person.

4 1Rating: +3

OP Here - Re: FH / SMP /LI ! / NH / A

Nov 4, 2023 at 8:25pm

I appreciate everyone's comments, and I feel that we all have our different opinions on the topic - a lot of which coming from past experiences, trauma, etc.

I feel that forgiveness is a good starting point. Having these thoughts aren't wrong (to be in someone's orbit after such a long period of time), and for years I've beat myself up over this dilemma i.e. why would I EVEN entertain the thought of this idea i.e. does this make me creepy? would this be beneficial to the other person ? etc. Today, I'm simply allowing these thoughts to come up again, rather than bottle them in, which I've done in the past because I associated these thoughts with weakness. I've learned to understand and stay neutral, which I'm perfectly fine with. The only difference is that I'm accepting these thoughts for what they are, going through the "Why" and then coming to terms with them on my own. It's awesome that we all have something to bring to the table when it comes to input.

The point is that we are social creatures, and human nature will always take us down the road of "what if." What prevents us from addressing that is a whole lot of fear, insecurity and, dare I say it, shame. I'm not proposing to go from zero to one-hundred and be besties instantly. Trust takes time, and trust takes work.

Have a great night everyone, and be kind to one another. Vancouver needs it.

-OP

7 0Rating: +7

Psst

Nov 7, 2023 at 8:44pm

They still don't want this chat with you so kindly move on !
Best for everyone !

1 2Rating: -1

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