Drifting People [en]

[fr] On ne peut pas être ami avec tout le monde, ne serait-ce que pour des questions d'agenda. Je crois que j'ai accepté cette limite, et aussi que l'amitié va et vient la plupart du temps, et que les gens invités dans ma vie ne resteront pas forcément pour toujours.

I like people. I meet a lot of them. I connect easily and make friends. I have lots of people in my life, and not just “business contacts” kept at arm’s length.

At some point these last months, I started reflecting on the fact that I want to count as friends more people than I can cope with, from a purely “calendar” point of view. It’s very frustrating.

Four years ago I wrote a post titled “Too Many People“. I’m not at this level of crisis, at all, though the seeds of this year’s realization were undoubtedly sown sometime then.

I think I’ve accepted that people will drift in and out of my life. I’ve accepted that I cannot pursue every friendship worth pursuing, and that when friends drift out of my life, it is not just my responsibility.

You see, for some reason, I tend to look at things as if I was in charge of maintaining the relationship. But there are always two of us, and when there has been no contact in a year, it is also because the other person has not made a move either.

I’m not thinking of any of my friendships in particular, here. It’s more that I think I’ve accepted something about the somewhat transient nature of friendships and relationships, and the practical limits which mean one can’t be friends with everyone one wants to, and feel more at peace with it.

3 thoughts on “Drifting People [en]

  1. Yeah, it’s another form of grieving.

    Someone close to my heart had to learn it the hard way because in a short lapse of time two of her best friends from high school began to play possum.

    I learnt it 15 years ago when my life went through, as they say, a major upheaval. Divorcing, radically changing job and lifestyle, moving far away. My address book went really, really thin. I’ve come to admit it as a ‘little death’ and to move on.

    Yet what I have found is that online friends seem to find it less demanding to still be friends. IRL friends is more work (finding a good time to see each other, possibly travel to meet, etc.).

    Meeting brilliant and talented, not to mention very nice and full of love, people online has been a great, great help.

    This is a draught comment at best. 😉

    (oh by the way, this makes me realize I’ve known you for 8 years… time flies)

  2. I’m starting to realize this too. I’ve heard something about how we as humans only have the capacity to have only 20 or so close relationships with people. As I get older, I meet new awesome people all the time, and awesome people slip out of my life.

    I know I’m not the same person I thought I was 10 years ago. And as comforting as it would be to return to those glory days, the future always being negotiable and unpredictable always excites me. I never know who’s going to come into my life. The mystery excites me.

  3. Getting older is getting wiser, focusing one’s energy where it really matters. This is a completely normal phenomena, many people go through this around our age it seems.

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