Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bumping Off People

No, I'm not talking about murder today, even if the title of this post does sound that way.

I've been thinking a lot the past few days about the way people move in and out of your life.  The book I'm working on at the moment is probably the most personal I've ever written, and one of the main characters is based on someone I knew a long time ago.  I couldn't even really say we were friends, but for about six months, we hung out in the same circle.  Then he moved away and we didn't see each other again except for a brief conversation about fourteen years later.

Knowing this person, even briefly, had a profound effect on me.  I've never forgotten him.  And I realized how often people cross your path and leave you changed.

Or is this just me?

I've moved all my life.  Every two to three years, new country, new school, new friends.  I'm used to people being transitory and even after I stopped moving so often, I've still transitioned through friends.  I've always assumed this was natural.  As you grow and change and your interests move, the people you surround yourself with also change.  But some people manage to have the same friends throughout their lifetimes.  That kind of impresses me.  I don't even know anyone I went to kindergarten with anymore, let alone remain friends with them.  Even people I went to high school with.  People I worked with five years ago.

Perhaps I'm just a hopeless correspondent and any of these friendships could have been maintained had I made the effort.  But communicating goes both ways, right?  No, I think friendships and relationships of any kind run their course, and once you've moved on, there's no way back.  So the most important thing is to value whatever you've got out of the relationship, be it knowledge, emotional support, bragging rights, whatever.

Do you have people you've bumped off briefly that have left you changed?  Do you still have friends from kindergarten?


  1. Like you, I've moved around a lot my whole life. It's a sad truth that as your life changes, friends slip by the wayside, and I don't think you can go back. But there are always the friends of here & now, and the new friends on the horizon. I think everyone I've ever met has brought change to my life, some good, some bad. The only thing eternal is change...