I've been thinking a lot lately about people from my past. Mostly about how strange it is to be so close to someone for so long and to spend so much time with someone and then not to. Not suddenly (usually), but over time as life changed.
Facebook has brought up a lot of this for me. As I've reconnected on the weird, mostly superficial level that Facebook creates (I haven't talked to you since high school, but now I know what you had for breakfast), I've mourned silently the loss of some of these people from my daily life. That mourning never took place when the separations happened. It's all getting dredged up now. And, it seems like I'm not alone. I've received more than a few emails from people apologizing for things in the past and genuinely wondering why we stopped talking long ago.
Over the weekend, I found and played an old mix tape that I made a few months before I met A. I called it, "A Mix for the Worst Week of 1996 So Far." Man, there is some great music on there! But it took me quite awhile to remember why that week was so bad. Finally, I remembered that it involved an all-out war between me and another woman, who was actually the childhood best friend of my best friend and roommate. She was also dating my best friend H from high school - a guy who had had a crush on me for years. A bunch of us used to hang out all the time, but there was a lot of tension between the two of us (she is also named Kristen), and finally we held an intervention of sorts to get the bitterness out in the open because our mutual friends couldn't take it anymore. And, I had been dating this clown, I mean guy who after almost two months decided to tell me that he was moving to LA and had been planning to all along. So that's what constituted my worst week that year. LOL.
These memories make me laugh and wistful at the same time. I think it's so funny that my life had so much drama in those days. But not really important drama, just silliness and pettiness. It didn't feel that way at the time, of course, but looking back on it now, I laugh at my angst. No one was sick or dying, divorcing, trying to conceive and couldn't, no one lost their job or couldn't pay their bills. On the one hand, life now seems much more important and serious. But at the same time, my life now seems pretty boring in comparison. I don't have that 20-something angst anymore. I don't have the whole, awful dating thing to deal with. Life is good and comfortable and peaceful.
I'm not sure where I'm going with this. Except that it's weird how it all turned out in the end. In those days, I spent nearly every waking hour it seemed with those friends, especially my friend H from high school and then later his best friend and roommate, R. I loved that time and those people, even with all the turmoil and hurt feelings and messiness. I caused a lot of that hurt and messiness myself.
Last week, my friend R sent me a link to his wedding photos. I haven't seen him in years and we've only emailed each other here and there. It was the strangest thing looking at his wedding pictures and seeing him in his life that I don't know and that I'm not even minutely a part of. I've never met his wife. He's never met my son. And, that made me really sad. My once best friend, someone I thought I'd be around forever, is now a stranger.
The other Kristen and I keep in touch today. A and I met her for lunch when she was in town visiting two weeks ago. She watched R while A and I sang during our friends' wedding. My former rival is now my friend.
Part of me thinks that this is just the way life is - people come and go, their importance changes, and you move on with some sadness but not really noticing either. But then I look at A - he is still friends with almost everyone he knew from high school and beyond. He makes friends and keeps them. He doesn't see them all the time, but the friendships are still there. There doesn't seem to be many endings in his relationships. And, I wonder why there are in mine.