I found a box of old photos today from back when film was still used and digital had not yet become de rigueur.
There are photos of my dad and grandparents. It is nice to recall those memories, but sad at the same time. I miss all of them greatly.
I came across photos of old friends, childhood images, and vehicles once owned.
There are also a lot of photos of people who I know I was friends with once upon a time – we are having a fantastic time in the pictures, but I can’t for the life of me remember their names. Obviously, I wasn’t terribly close with them, but it is still a bit disturbing to have all these semi-blank chapters of my life left out of my memory. Well, I remember the events and the circumstances, but I look at the photos and think, “Who the hell were all those people?”
I suppose some of it is how my lifestyle has functioned. I have moved frequently over the years and with a nomadic life tends to come impermanent relationships. I have always had a philosophy that the people I am meant to be friends with and continue to know will continue in my life in some way. We will find ways to stay in touch over the years. If a relationship takes too much work to keep up or the friendship simply dissipates over time, it wasn’t meant continue.
Perhaps this could be viewed as a rather fatalistic way of interacting with relationships, but I’ve found that it is a rather functional outlook. People lose touch with each other. This is just what happens. Because of this knowledge, I rarely mourn a once-friendship that has gone by the wayside through lack of upkeep. I thought that my subscribing to Facebook would screw up that philosophy. I have reconnected with high school friends and acquaintances, and have caught up with various people from my past. However, what I have found is that the people with whom I actually have real friendships with – not just status updates and ‘likes’ – are people who I’ve had a connection with all these years anyway.
The people in the photos who I wonder who they were aren’t real friends or Facebook friends. I lost touch with them for a reason – we had little to tie us together.
Knowing that doesn’t change the odd feeling I get when looking at the pictures. If we had such a lack of connection, why did we hang out back then?