This has been a week of goodbyes.
I recently found out that a few weeks ago, a guy I used to work with in high school died. I wasn’t best friends with the guy — in fact, to be honest, I hadn’t kept in touch with him at all after I left for college, other than popping in to say hi to the gang every once in a while when I was visiting Massachusetts. But it was still a bit of a shock — there’s always that adjustment you have to make in your head, the, “No, he’s not just 400 miles away, he’s gone.” I subconsciously hold place markers in my mind for the people I know. I still have to make that adjustment sometimes with people who have been gone for years, so I don’t imagine Marco will be any different.
It troubled me most because I remember him to be such a sweet guy, a part of the Pizzas By Evan family — and I gave no second thought to the fact that I wasn’t keeping in touch. Nor have I done a very good job of keeping in touch with any of my past coworkers, or anyone that I knew in high school. It’s not the first time this has dawned on me, but this particular event strengthened the realization that I have terrible long-distance friendship skills.
Which brings me to my next goodbye: my friend, Victoria, is leaving in a few days to move to Israel. I’m excited for her — a little sad that I won’t be able to hang out with her in person, but that girl is going to have a blast. I went to her going-away party last night, and again, it dawned on me: you’ve got to stay in touch. You can’t let people fade into the background just because they aren’t standing right beside you.
Now, staying in touch has gotten a little bit easier over the years: I can still Facebook-stalk Victoria or message her to catch up. Of course, I say that about a lot of people, and haven’t followed through. I understand that you can’t be best friends with everyone — there are just too many people in the world, and when people grow apart (whether physically or mentally), it’s not the end of the world — but it still gives me a little bit of anxiety thinking about losing contact.
For me, it’s not enough to look back on memories and accept them as constant… When I reflect on old friends, I want to know where they are today, where life has taken them. I don’t want to keep them frozen in my mind as the people that they were 5 or 10 years ago, because the world doesn’t work like that. We keep on going, so why shouldn’t the world’s perception of us do the same?
Maybe that’s trying to take on too much. Maybe I should focus on just a few people. But people are interesting, and even if it will make my life a little more complicated, I’d rather put in the effort.
If you haven’t done so in a while, feel free to contact me and catch up! I’d love to stay connected.