I met up with a friend yesterday who I hadn’t seen in almost two years. Why has it been so long? Life happens. Everyone has life come up, and unfortunately that means some friends get put on the back burner. Not because you want to put them there, but because that’s just what happens. In fact, it often happens to both parties at the same time.
The greatest thing about old friends is that time doesn’t get in the way of anything. I had heard from a mutual friend that he was actually working right down the street from my house. I wanted to surprise him, so I just showed up to his work unannounced. I walked through the door to his restaurant, he turned around, and without missing a beat he said “Jeff!” It was as if no time had passed at all. It was awesome. There was no weirdness, just appreciation that we had the chance to reconnect. So we spent about an hour or so after he got off of work talking and catching up. We may look a few years older, but that’s the only thing that was different. He’s still the same old John, and I’m still the same old Jeff, just with different things happening in our lives, and perhaps different attitudes on life.
You always know you are good friends with someone when you can have a conversation and not have to try. Everything just flows, you know? Man, I miss those kinds of conversations. The ones where you don’t have to worry about what they’re thinking about what you’re saying, or worry about what you’re wearing, or worry about being anything other than you. Yeah, we can do that no matter who we’re talking to, but we all do it. But with old friends, that little voice in our heads just takes a nap for a while. It’s great.
So it got me thinking how important old friends are. We all seek to be understood in life. How often have you had a boyfriend or girlfriend and thought “(s)he just doesn’t get me!” Sometimes we get caught up in life and go day in and day out without really being understood. It starts to take a toll on our hearts and souls. Humans have a need to feel deeply connected these days. With so much information being thrown our way, and having to work such long and hard hours just to get by, we quickly forget the importance of that deep connection.
Many of us can find comfort in our significant others, but that’s a different relationship than old friends. Sure, you might also be old friends with your significant other, but it’s still different. Old friends are completely unbiased. They’re a sounding board for us to be vulnerable with. Sometimes it’s difficult to step back and look at our life as a whole, but old friends help us do that. They’re there for us, always.
So I urge you to call, text, Faceook, Tweet or email that person and set up a time to get together. I guarantee they’ll feel the same urge to connect. They may have a crazy schedule, and it may take two weeks for you to meet, but they still really want to. We all want to. Even if you haven’t seen that person for a long time, just put that little voice aside and reach out. You know that voice, it’s the one that says “she’s probably really busy, she has her kids and everything and I don’t want to bother her” or “I haven’t seen him in so long, he’ll probably think it’s weird that I’m suddenly calling him.” That’s the voice that keeps us held back in life. It’s there to protect us, and more often than not it ends up preventing us from living.
What are some things about old friends that you find irreplaceable? What is it about old friends that you find so important? Please let us know in the comments section!