Social media puts every circle of friends we ever had right in our faces, every day. I love seeing the tiny slivers of their lives, it reminds me of who they are and who we were together, but it makes me feel inadequate somehow. That gladness of being able to peek at them now is tinged with a remorse that I can’t quite place. Why aren’t we closer? Why did we grow apart? Why wasn’t I a better friend?
The easy excuse I give myself is that it’s because they moved away, went to school, got a different job, got married, had kids, but I know that isn’t true. Many of my current circles live away, and I am still in touch. I tell myself there are only so many people I can fit in the lifeboat of my current life, and that makes sense, but I will resist even sending them a poke. Why? It’s so easy.
If I am truly honest with myself, it is because I regret who I was. The person I am now is a richer, deeper, newer, truer version of me. I couldn’t give that to them then, and maybe I didn’t know how. So I let them fall out of orbit. My curser hovers over them, but does not click. I am secretly asking myself; why wasn’t I better, more honest, more present, how did I fail them, why did I let them drift away? Perhaps it is not them I resist, but the person I was, the one I don’t care to revisit?
I realize now that these questions are self-involved, those in my distant circles have their own experience and make their own choices, perhaps they secretly ask themselves the same questions. With a different perspective, I can see that we all grow, change, evolve, and follow our own specific destinies. All these circles taken together flower in a way that is mirrored in nature; husks and pedals fall away as each seed fulfills itself.
My limited belief is one of lack, “Why didn’t I love them better?” Our true failure, however, lies in not seeing the good in what we were to them, why they loved us, what we gave them, and how we were the best that we knew how to be for them, then. One thread remains, always, the love that connected us. As they are forever a part of who we became, so we are forever a part of who they became. From an even greater perspective, that love became a part of someone else in their circles, and circles, and circles and circles. Like pollen it spread, and they made us a part of everyone, even you.
I would like for my distant circles to know who I became, maybe I’ll try a bit harder now, but if I can’t, I hope that they understand that the memories, the laughs and the adventures we had still ring inside me.