I'm fascinated by change; how time takes something, and slowly morphs it into something new. I've discussed, at length, on this very blog about how I've changed, or how my job has changed. One thing I haven't really ever touched on is my opinion on the others around you - those who live through your change, whilst juggling their own metamorphosis.
They are the people in your life, and they are an important part of our lives - then, now and to come.
I think we can separate people into two different types:
1) Those you want to be around.
2) Those that you don't.
The latter category first - and these are usually classmates, or work colleagues, or (occasionally) the outer branches of our family tree, like cousins, or their parents.
Unfortunately we're often stuck with these urks. They remain in our lives, simply because we cannot walk away - not without quitting our job, or moving school. Sometimes we have no relationship with these companions of our's; I saw many a face at school that I had zero conversation with. More often than not, however, they remain an awkward thorn in our side - constantly expecting pleasantries, or social updates.
These people should learn to accept that they are not a significant part of your life, and when you are not around them, they simply cease to exist in your mind!
Luckily, we often grow apart. When we do, nobody suffers. It's a painless separation.
What's most interesting, however, is what comes next. I'm talking about those almost inevitable 'reunions' we have, years later. When you bump into somebody from school in the Post Office, or you see a former co-worker from years before in town. At those moments, it suddenly comes back to you - the reality of the world you shared. Suddenly, you can see how mundane school life was, or how great/horrible work use to be.
Sometimes you can overlook these details, or misremember them completely - because the people who you stuck by with from this time (i.e. the people who you endlessly discuss the 'good old days' with) have changed with you - they morphed into new people too, and after discussing the same stories on that endless cycle you can no longer rely on either your's or their memory to be entirely true. Take my friend Dan - when we look back at life as staff at the cinema, from circa 2008 its now with rose tinted glasses ("Wasn't that great?" "It was so fun?" "Why are we boring now?") that actually it's nice to meet somebody else who contradicts that, and reminds us work was a bitch!
In that way, these people in our life, eventually, end up gaining a significance that lacked before - because they start to form a history of you.
Moving back to the people in your life you actually do want around...
They're the best aren't they? Nobody likes to be alone, and these people ease that pain. They are friends, or partners, or family. They stick by us at times of crisis, when we are most vulnerable to change, and help ease us into our new selves. Of course, if we're good friends, or good relatives, we do the same for them - and it's a circle of change.
Sometimes we lose people on the way. For me, that's grandparents, my uncle, old friends (work/school) and past girlfriends. Again, they stay with you - a significant part of the who you were, and if you're lucky, having known them shapes who you are in the future.
Then there's the current lot: the people in your life right here, and now. I think we neglect them, honestly I do. These people aren't valued as much as they should be - it's only after they leave us do we look back and realise how great they were. We should love them more, and encourage them to blossom. I do think people drift apart because jobs change, or whatever... but the number one reason why friends don't stay friends? You gave up on one another, or grew bored. So try and grow the relationship - change with it, not against it.
So there we have it - a very brief snapshot of my mind, and some considered thoughts on those special people I've shared the last 25 years with.