As we grow older we experience many changes in our lives, we move on from jobs, lifestyles, and losses. When we reach retirement we often find ourselves moving on to new residences, new surroundings. It’s a wonderful new beginning!
The problem is as we move on to new places we wind up leaving a lot behind. We can take our memories with us, but we leave behind attachments… and friends. Often we’re not the only ones leaving a place behind, our friends have chosen to move on as well. Nowadays our best friends are scattered from L.A. to North Carolina and back to lower Manhattan, all people we once shared neighborhoods with. It’s hard and rare to see each other in person, gone are the last minute impromptu dinners and the touch of a friend’s arm across the shoulders to help work out some problem.
With the miracle of technology we don’t have to say goodbye at least, we can call on the phone, email, or even see each other on a screen as we video chat and all in real time — still it’s not the same. Being pen-pals isn't enough, the letters take their time getting to your friend's door. The benefit of social media allows us to stay in touch without much effort and in the company of thousands, kind of loses the intimacy of that special bond that friends can form. It’s what we have.
We can always make new friends without letting go (completely) of the older friends (not in age but in longevity). The problem with new friends is that you don’t share history, it’s harder for new friends to just “get you”. How much of your own personal history are you willing to share, how much do you need to share before your new friends really KNOW you? And do you rewrite your history to fit in with your new crowd?
This is life in 2019. It’s a rare individual that is born, grows up in and dies in the same small town for all of their life. We make moves and follow jobs and passions. Is what we are leaving behind too great a loss?
It’s not our fault we made the move, sometimes we weren’t even the first to leave the old neighborhood. I guess that part of growing up is knowing how to keep your friendships even across the miles… it’s not always easy, but definitely worth it.