This week I had the chance to talk about a friend. I’ve known him forever…at least since we were in elementary school. We’ve kept in touch pretty much since, not necessarily on a regular basis, but here and there and as major life events happened. So when given the chance to provide information about my friend, I felt pretty confident that I could provide good, solid information.
And then the questions started. I sat with a blank stare,
trying to remember the year I met him..was it 5th grade, 6th,
2nd grade? Hmmm ok next question, where has he lived…em…in his
house? Where did he attend school? University? Degree? Em, em, em, em, how many…ok
stop! This is my friend! I should know the answers to all these questions! But one
after the other, I was left mumbling, trying to figure out if I could draw
answers, mixing up his life with the lives of others in our cohort. Wow, I
guess I don’t remember as much as I should!
Now I can say I’m a big picture kind of person. I tend to
take a global perspective and ignore the little bits that make it happen. Of
course since I’m complicated, in many situations like when I’m helping
coordinate an event or editing, I become overly concerned with the itty bitty
tiny details and often lose sight of the big picture. But I guess when it comes
to my friendships at some point some of the details get replaced. As I interact
with more people, the specific information about individuals mostly fade into
the background! I'm not sure if this is a good thing, but it was rather startling to realize how much I did not know/remember about many other friends, many of whom I relate to, very closely.
30 something year olds, not unlike 3 year olds, make lots of connections; on the job, at social events, religious gatherings, etc. In fact, it is imperative to keep connected to people of various backgrounds and trades as we ourselves climb up our career or social ladders - It really is about who you know. It's necessary to send a quick hallo every once in a while to that friend from college, as much as it is to stay in touch with your ace boon.
Many of us now rely on Facebook® to help us keep tabs on our friends. We often don't even reach out, just take a look at pictures or posts and say awww. We feel very informed about their lives based on the snippets that they share on social media. Our Facebook® friends list doesn't match our phone numbers list at all...and we have quickly grown accustomed to living life in this world of oversharing only a small part of what we are experiencing...much of it scripted and hollow.
So with this new realization, I am taking a closer look at my inner circle and trying to remember details about their lives - I might have to ask them a few questions! I recognize that I can't keep all details about everyone, but I should be able to answer questions about those that I hold dear to my heart!
A quick exercise for you:
Who are your close friends (not counting significant others and blood related family)?
What do they currently do at their job/school?
What level of education have they completed?
If university level educated, what degree(s) have they completed?
Where have they lived in the last 10 years (cities/countries)?
What do they like to do for fun?
When was the last time you talked to them?
I would love to know what you learned. Please comment below and share!