If you’re my age (like dinosaur – close to 50 years old age), you will probably have noticed by now that you have changed your circle of friends at least 5 – 6 or ten times since you entered elementary school.
Some friends stick with you, some forget you, and some don’t recall your name but remember your face (up until a certain age). I can personally account for this since I am coming up on a 30th high school class reunion, and although I do remember some people’s names, they look NOTHING like what they did in high school, and I’m sure I’m no exception.
Anyway, I digress.
The circle of friends you dance in and out of thruout your life can become an entangled mess. If you still have friends from elementary school, I give you four gold stars on your paper of life. To still be able to keep in touch with your 2nd grade best friend is worthy of those classic gold stars your teacher used to hand lick onto your latest homework assignment which was a one page essay on what you did during your summer vacation. My essays normally ended with a someone or something getting killed. I wasn’t exclusive about my victims; snowflakes were ripe for the picking just as well as humans.
I was a morose second grade student.
Most people graduated to those Junior High School friends. Ya know – the kind that came from different towns so, so, soooo far away (like 5 miles), and yet felt like another world to you at the ripe old age of 12. This was also the time when hormones were in full swing and you began to integrate males and females alike into your circle of friends. Boys and/or girls were no longer “Ewwwww!”, but more like, “Hmmmmm….interesting specimen.” So, if you are still friends with those people you knew in Junior High School (and I’m part of this group – yay for me!), you get three gold stars on your paper of life.
Why the degradation of gold stars you ask? Think physics. If you’ve known someone longer, and you still hang out with them and go out for the occasional drink/dinner/phone call/text, then you should get more stars on your paper of life. Don’t argue with me on this one – you know I’m right.
Then High School happens. Most people will admit that the friends they mostly keep in touch with are those from their high school days. Even after college. Why? Because friends were plentiful. It was like a field of wild flowers that went on for miles. You met people from names of different towns you didn’t even know existed outside of your five mile, already familar radius bubble of friends. High school was a big deal. Most kids become young adults and start realizing during this phase of their life that there is a HUGE world out there, and they start to have opinions. They start to develop their own identities – who they are as a human being….and who they want to hang around.
That’s when college happens. But it’s where college gets serious for alot of people. You make friends, but now you’re a bit more choosey in who you decide to hang with. At this point in the age game, you start getting wise to know who you are as a person, who you want to hang around with someone who has the same interests as you (and the same IQ). I mean, why hang around someone who doesn’t have anything in common with you and has a personality of a sack of potatoes? (sorry potato lovers). That’s like putting a pair of socks into the underwear drawer. The undies will totally toss out the socks in five seconds. Undies think they’re rebels. Socks are nerds and they are constantly being separated from another and get lost eventually getting a self identity crisis, start binge drinking, and eventually end up in the corner of a dark closet missing his (or her) better half.
But the true test of friendship happens after college. Who do you still hang with? This isn’t five years after college. Not even ten years after your hard working diploma. I’m thinking more like 15 – 20 years after college. Are you still hanging around your elementary school friends? High school friends? College friends? Maybe it’s those people you’ve met in your new line of work with that nifty college diploma that you’re still paying off the “mortgage” on that you’ve become closer friends with rather than the people in your college fraternity or sorority.
Why do we change our circle of friends? Maturity, similar interests as well as compatability with personalities and frequency of seeing someone are the best answers I can come up with. Humans want to hang around other humans who have the same interests and laugh at your lame jokes. So if you’re a new mom and have decided to stay at home with your baby, (or graduated college with a degree in comedy and you’re waiting tables), you’re going to want to start hanging around other new moms (and comedians) in your neighborhood or community so you can talk about your kids (or tell jokes)….and lose your own identity (or gain a fake one)…..and start drinking cocktails at 2 in the afternoon (or start at 10 in the morning).
You get my point.
So, if you want to get some friends, don’t hesitate about it. Facebook is out there, people. I bet there are some individuals who would like to get in touch with you but are just as hesitant as you are about being the first one to reach out and “friend” them. Who cares???? Just do it! You won’t come off as some sort of stalker, but rather, just someone who wants to reconnect. And, don’t be saddened if you want to start a friendship with someone (or reconnect with someone from years ago), and they just kinda dump you. If they’ve at least friended you on Facebook, you’re technically not “dumped.” If they don’t friend you, don’t take offense. You don’t know how their lives have ended up and perhaps that may be a good thing!