There are several people in my life who I have been close to at one time or another, who have disappeared and then suddenly come back into my life years down the line. It’s funny because when they left it was usually quietly, gradually over time, and sometimes I didn’t realize how long it had actually been until suddenly it was 5 years later or in some cases, 9 years later, and I sadly thought to myself, “Wow, I never thought I’d lose touch with them…”
The Celestine Prophecy (a fabulous book) talks about how everyone comes into our lives for a reason–even if it’s only for a little while. Everyone we come into contact with either has a message for us or we are meant to teach them something–whether it’s something about ourselves, something about them, or to just learn more about the circumstances that surround us and the human condition–there is a reason for every interaction, every person, every relationship. And it’s up to us to find that message and find the meaning we are meant to understand from these encounters.
The people who disappeared from my life at different times were mostly friends I was close to during certain stages–law school, working summer jobs, and even high school friends who lost touch along the way. I missed them when they were gone, but thought, “There’s nothing I can do, that’s just life…it happens. We lose people we never expect to lose.” But then last year happened–life changing events, and suddenly I found myself talking to old friends from different places and times and finding a strangely familiar (and at times overwhelming) comfort in it. And I feel lucky. For whatever reason, old friends turned back up at a time when I needed my friends the most– and several of my then current friends didn’t stick around through the transition from my old life to my “new life” (whatever that means)… I don’t know whether it was because I moved 20 minutes south (I know, so far away), or because I was no longer half of a couple, or because it was just too much work to listen or be there to hang out with. I definitely realized who my real friends were and along the way made some new ones too….and even if they don’t know it, even if it’s sometimes just in small ways, they are the ones who have been there when I needed them the most.
I think there is a reason why you reconnect with people you were once close to, and when they come back it’s like finding your old favorite jeans in the back of the closet. It’s comforting to know that they know who you are and you don’t have to put up any pretense. It just fits. And if you’re lucky, you can slip back into old habits and relate the way you used to- on a level that’s familiar and genuine. It’s these friendships that come back, and the people who remind you that you haven’t changed that much since you knew them, and help you remember times when life was simpler, that comfort you in a time when you need comfort the most. And it’s the new friends who encourage you to look ahead and remind you that the future holds surprises still.
So to all of my friends out there, old and new, and to the ones who have come back….thank you. I value the roles you play in my life, and am blessed that you have helped me remember who I’ve been all along no matter what else is going on. I hope I can return the favor.