I still remember when social networking was still very new, a friend of mine tried to pitch this platform called Orkut to me, with a story about how she connected with a childhood friend she hadn’t been in touch with for a decade. And then came smartphones, cheap internet data packs and the phrase “at the tip of your fingers” gained a new meaning for all of us. Friendships, old ones and new, were now just a tap and a swipe away. But how many of these friendships actually make it past the exchange of pictures in messenger boxes, or annual birthday wishes? When was the last time you reconnected with an old friend offline, reminiscing your childhood or youth, studying their wrinkles and your own, in amusement all the while?
- Ever feel disconnected with your past and at loss of fond memories?
- A big part of our happy memories from childhood and youth lies with our friends.
- This is why it is important to try and reconnect with childhood and college friends.
- A lot of us hesitate to re-establishing these connections out of fear that our friends will judge us. But perhaps they may be having the same doubts too.
When was the last time you reconnected with an old friend offline, reminiscing your childhood or youth, studying their wrinkles and your own, in amusement all the while?
These past few days I have felt this urge to connect with my old friends, not because I felt lonely or friendless, but because I was feeling a little unhinged from my childhood. I was on a visit to my parents’ home, which wasn’t the house where I grew up, and suddenly I was filled with this feeling of disconnect from the place. There was no memory of my childhood associated with this home, and the only remnants my parents now carried were my old photographs, a few odd and faded clothes and of course a ton of novels about which I receive an earful every time I visit.
As I sat musing, another scary thought struck me. I could barely recollect more than a handful of fond memories from my pre-marital life. Where was my childhood hiding? Where were all those crazy anecdotes about my teens and the eventful hostel life, if not with me? Was there no way of getting those elusive snippets of laughter and craziness back? There was. While my undependable memory had betrayed me, these memories were residing in the hearts of people who had been part of those moments with me. And these people were right in front of my eyes. I literally gazed past them on my social media feed every day, mindlessly scrolling down and liking their posts.
Go beyond the half-hearted enthusiasm which peppers our sentences like “We’ve got to meet for a cup of coffee,” or “It’s about time we had a reunion,” and actually do it. Reach out to an old friend or two and genuinely suggest a time and a place to meet up.
Doesn’t this happen to all of us? We all wonder about our early years, childhood friends and lost college buddies, marvelling how we all have walked in different directions from those dusty by lanes and motley dorm rooms. The anecdotes, the memories, they are all so within our reach, and yet they seem so distant. As if they belong to a different lifetime altogether! Perhaps it time to let go of that hesitation and reach out. Go beyond the half-hearted enthusiasm which peppers our sentences like “We’ve got to meet for a cup of coffee,” or “It’s about time we had a reunion,” and actually do it. Reach out to an old friend or two and genuinely suggest a time and a place to meet up.
Like you, they may be hesitating to take the first step. The judgemental world that we live in has made all of us cynical. We fear judgement, especially at the hands of old friends. These people have seen us grow after all. We shared our desires, dreams, and ambitions with them. Would she comment on my weight? Will they frown at my pay check? Will she be disappointed in my career or personal choices? Or in my receding hairline, wrinkled cheeks or greying mane? So conscious are we of our own insecurities, we fail to realise that true friends don’t judge you, they empathise. Besides, your friend may be worrying over these exact set of things and feeling intimidated.
We fear judgement, especially at the hands of old friends. Would she comment on my weight? Will they frown at my pay check? Will she be disappointed in my career or personal choices? Or in my receding hairline, wrinkled cheeks or greying mane?
Reconnecting with your old friends not only makes you feel more rooted, it rejuvenates you. As soon as initial awkwardness wears off, what remains is that untapped well of memories which will bring a smile to your face. Old friendships also have a way of gently reminding you of likes and dislikes which you left behind in childhood. How you loved to ride your bike in summer evenings, or how you hated a certain dish your mum always packed in your tiffin box, and how your friends would help you “dispose” it. What is life if not a collection of all such incidences that shaped you as a person and made you who you are today?
So getting in touch with old friends in fact puts you in touch with your old self and helps you revise the story of your life. Makes us realise-how you came to be who you are today. Sometimes, the answers to the biggest of all our problems and issues lie in such trivial conversations, or in memories we have long let go of. Give these old memories a chance. Who knows what you may stumble upon? A renewed friendship, or perhaps a new you!
Pic credits: glamour.com
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.