After a year-long global excursion of procrastination, the lifemate and I have settled back into (we’ve been here for about four full months) our home state. Honestly, we’ve sort of been dreading this arrival due to the fact that there are simply too many people to catch up with, reconnect with, etc., etc., &c. Today marks the fourth day of March, and I’ve already had social engagements with people from my past every single month this year, AND April and July and October already contain bookings. I’m not trying to reveal how vibrant or lame my social life is, what I’m trying to reveal is the thing about friendship. Whether or not I am capable of such a feat (writing about the thing about friendship, not the having of friends) still remains unknown, but alas, the day is Wednesday and that means that I must write to this here Report.
The friend I saw yesterday, for Arbitrary Day, is a very old friend, someone I have known since before I was aware that I knew them (for the sake of the triviality of gender), i.e. our families are friends. I have not seen this friend since late 2012, just before my parents moved out of my “hometown” and the summer before I was to leave for Seoul for the next five-to-six years. They are a dear friend, and the strange part is that I was never super close to her when we were young. We shared a lot of the same extracurriculars (even traveling to South Africa for the same opportunity at the same time but being parted into separate groups), and we got along well, but close is not how I would describe us. I do not hold any of their secrets, nor do they hold mine, and yet, we are so very close simply because we share so many frames of reference, and we know a lot of the same people.
And that’s the strange thing about friendship because I also have a very new friend to whom I have grown very close, very quickly, and I feel so much closer to this person than I do the friend I’ve known all my life, and at the same exact time, I know that the old friend can be relied upon in a way that no new friends really can. All of this probably also has something to do with the thing about time, and the thing about time is something about which I basically know nothing. So, there’s that.
And then there was the friend who fit snugly in the middle. I have known this friend for a little over ten years, and we have been through some shit together. This friend, therefore, I realized fell in a category all their own: a person with whom we are close and with whom we are long-term friends. Meaning, our closeness has the same amount to do with how long we’ve known each other and the actual closeness of our relationship in present time.
I was not expecting to learn something like this from a small gathering of friends, old and new, for a small (too big, after one couple cancelled due to illness) dinner. It was awesome to feel all the feels I felt toward the people in my life. I’m both excited and daunted at the prospect of 2020 being an emotionally charged year filled with the re-connection and new connection of old and new souls. I’m already feeling burdened by the task of being a good friend to those with whom I feel especially bonded. But so far, it’s been worth the effort.