I had dinner last night with friends, friends that I have known for most of my adult life. One of them I had not seen in over twenty years. We lost touch over the years, and have reconnected recently. We shared food, and laughs, and memories of times past. It was fun and touching.
It got me to thinking about the idea of people that remain in our lives, or come back into our lives, and what that really means to us.
Facebook I believe, gives me the false impression at times, that I am fully involved in someone’s life who I have known at some point. Through photos, recollections and memories, it can give me the feeling of really knowing that person, like we are still intimately connected in some way.
With some of those “friends” of mine, I am currently connected with them in my life. I get together, have coffee, lunch, or dinner, and we share conversation and know each other in the here and now.
Last night, I was presented with, and took advantage, of the opportunity to get to know my friends, and have them get to know me, not just as I was twenty years ago, but as the person that I am in the here and now. It is not different in all ways, but it is different in some significant ones.
I am grown up. I find my fun and joy in things other than drinking, and going out until the wee hours of the morning. I am a parent. I have loved women and developed deep relationships with them, and then moved on from them. I have gotten sober.
I have built a life that is not around others, but one that I can shine and be myself. Not focused on how much others around me will be at ease or not with who I am, but rather how authentically I can be and live in my world.
The goal for me in my life today, is not to have a long list of friends, that I can only know what their status is from day to day. It is bigger than that. I want friends in my life with whom I will be my full self, not who I think I need to be with them. The more authentically that I can be me, the more that I have to offer the world. And, the less that it matters if the world embraces it or not. Because even though I want to make friendship about others, and who they are, it really is about who I am.