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He didn't get where he is today by stealing somebody else's catchphrase.

Friends Redistributed.

I was sat in the pub this evening, discussing the matter of friendship. The two of us sat there chatting and whilst the result was inconclusive, the whole thing did make me think about people, life and stuff, if I can use such terminology. Stuff is as complex as I get.

I used to be part of a group of friends. Well, I say used to be, but it's more a case of something that now ceases to exist rather my estrangement from the group. However, the big question is when did the group cease to be - and how?

The answer to the first question is relatively simple - I'd put it at about a couple years ago, but the reasons why are more complex. Relationships within the group have changed and everyone has grown up a bit more, resulting in a different set of priorities. People have moved around and even finances have changed. There's more than one reason, but ultimately they all have the same effect. People are more distant, have less time to meet up and things quite simply just aren't the same. It's not their fault, more of an indictment on modern life.

On reflection, should I be sad about this? I guess the answer to that depends on personal circumstances. If they were the only people I knew, then yes - but thankfully they're not. Maybe I subconsciously realised that it was coming to an end and decided to do something about it. As time has gone on, I've gained an entirely new set of friends. Ju-jitsu, work and my studies have contributed towards that. But with all those other strings to my bow, I still occasionally wonder whether the old group will get back together again. It's not sadness - more nostalgia than anything.

Occasionally, we hook up and conversation is more along the exchanging of pleasantries. Soon we'll be at the Friends Reunited level, a well known condition whereby you send off just two e-mails to someone to ask how they're doing after all these years, find out and then ignore them again for another five. It becomes more of a curiosity.

Whilst this may sound somewhat morose, it simply isn't the case. I'm just taking stock. I evaluated my life not long ago and came to the conclusion that I'm actually pretty darn happy. I finally have a place of my own, a reasonable job, financial independence, good friends, reasonable health and a good relationship. It's just nice to realise it every so often - and not take it for granted, however cliché ridden that may sound.
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