Drifting away is a sneaky invisible monster. It’s hard to see it beforehand so you could do something to prevent it. And sometimes you might even realize it when it starts or why. But suddenly there is silence. The silence between you and people with whom you used to talk daily.
Have you ever thought about how come a person who is a good friend to you – suddenly is a stranger? I have noticed this with school friends, and work friends. Somehow people who are in our lives every day, play an important part. Are one day gone? Or is it just me?
Am I just incapable to keep in touch with people?
I have met some of them years later and talking with them – everything clicks right back like we never were apart. But then we are drifting away until we meet again. If we meet. I do hover sometimes over their names in the messenger list thinking about saying something. But somehow it has gotten lost on me what should I say. And then I am trying to
With work, it happens overnight. One day you work together and the next day you are not. And you are not talking. In another office, we had an office manager with whom I clicked well. We went to the gym together, had lunches, and shopped. Talked about all kinds of stuff. Then I was laid off, and she stayed. And we spoke on the messenger for a week or so and then stopped. A few years later I went back she was still there and everything was the same. Until she quit. And then again. Silence.
Real or fake?
Sometimes when I browse my Facebook friends – the collection of friends drifted away silently I wonder were they ever my friends? Or did we just settle with each other companies since one way or the other we were stuck with each other?
There is a group of people that once were really tight friends group. I think there were about 30 of us, maybe even more and we did stuff all together weekly. There were fixed meeting places about 2-3 times per week when we all knew that some of us will be there. And not only there – we also interacted all the time in the chatroom*. This was a massively active period of my life and all those people have been drifting away from my life, imperceptibly. Sometimes I wonder did I used up all my socializing energy for life during my twenties? And it feels like a lifetime ago.
Did we grow old?
I got most of them on my friend’s list still, but we hardly interact anymore. This once inseparable group was drifting away slowly, one by one. The weekly gatherings have disappeared and I am not even sure was the reason our bars closed? Did we grow old?
There are some smaller groups now still together and in some larger celebrations, we still see each other. And then for the night – we never run out of subjects to talk about and not only catching up. And after that – it’s like we all crawl back into our personal caves and hide. So what are we – strangers? Friends? Acquaintances? Fake-friends?
Or did we just grew apart and incapable of accepting changes and differences? We were basically big kids back then. Still looking and searching for our own truth and path. I get that every reader in their 20s is arguing with me now, but in what seems like a blink of an eye one day – you will agree. Yes, we were old enough to drive and drink, we did live on our own and worked for a living. But being an adult is about so much more. I think.
Do I miss out?
From a massive social group participant to a home bee is a drastic transformation. Seeing some people my age still hopping from party to party I sometimes wonder do I miss out? But then I look around myself. I know the ones I interact with daily now are solid. I can count on them whether I need to drink wine or dig up veggie beds. Or drive out in the middle of the night when I am stuck by the road. They won’t be drifting away – we have had each other back for a way too long.
I often hear my bosses bragging to each other about their drunken adventures of party hopping and then I know. I don’t miss it. I have grown and matured to appreciate family and home. While they drink, fight hangovers, and struggle to remember what they did – I spend my time creating memories. I may not have as many tales of dancing on the tables and getting into bar fights. I have stories of playing board games, having movie nights, walks in the woods, and now a whole series of working together in the dream home.
Drifting away or towards
I have begun to understand now that while some people are drifting away – at the same time we are drifting towards real people. Our real people. People who appreciate the same things as us and have the same values with similar goals.
I will choose to see forgotten land turning into a home over drinking in a bar in a heartbeat. Glass of wine or a cold beer by the bonfire after a long working day is more than enough and won’t steal my ability to work on the next day. And I am glad I am more and more surrounded by people who choose the same.
*For younger readers – Once there were these weird places on the web – chatrooms. Chatrooms were kind of like Twitter – anyone could make an account and log in. But instead of tweet-feed, there were huge messenger chats where everyone talked in real-time. Some chatrooms were small, some private, some big – we had I think around 50 people in there and about 30 of the most active ones. Who lived in the same city and therefore meeting in real life was easier. Every chatroom had admins who could make rules, change settings and kick out or even ban people who were out of line. Ancient time before social media platforms. Not even Facebook existed yet. Told you, I am old 🙂
12 thoughts on “Drifting away – sneaky monster?”
I had that when I move to attend university. I tried to keep in touch with my friends, but they weren’t reciprocating the effort. So eventually I stopped bothering. Then when my mum got cancer and I reached out to the people I thought were my best friends, they didn’t even ask how I or my mother was doing. No follow up messages either. Out of sight,out of mind
That horrible way to find out that best friends are fakes 💔 So sorry you had to go through that and I hope you have better friends now to support you.
Damn. I can so relate to this. I had a small group of friends from high school and we did many things together. As adults, we rarely talk, and I wonder about our relationship and why we drifted apart. Right now, there is only one person I still speak with regularly. Honestly, we don’t have that much in common, but a love of books so that’s what we mostly talk about. At this point in my life, I’m on a journey to connect with people and forge deeper, quality friendships. But, it’s a challenge too since I hardly go out and feel socially awkward a lot of the time. But I have met some nice people online so it’s a start. Thanks for sharing.
It’s always bittersweet when people drift away. Even if we can rationalize that drifting is part of growing up or life changes. I totally agree with reaching for deeper connection with people.
At certain points, it felt as if you jumped in my mind and took the words right out of it. The way you describe this feeling is spot on and I completely recognize the situation and the questions you ask. Your conclusions are the same as mine. We might drift away from some and towards others. But I no longer worry about that. I try to live more at the moment and appreciate the people around me at that time. It is a challenge, though.
Thanks for sharing and letting me reflect on this topic again.
Reading minds from worlds apart would be an amazing skill 🙂 And it’s great to know I am not alone with these thoughts and there is so many of us. Maybe the world still has a change after all?
I relate to this so much! As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed I’ve drifted away from a lot of “friends”, especially since becoming a mother.
Life changes, we grow and we move on and at times it feels lonely but I remind myself that I’d rather have my small circle that I have now than the big friends group I used to have. A nice sit down by the fire and a glass of wine sounds such more bliss than being out all night.
Everyone comes into our lives for a reason I believe, and even if they don’t last in the long run , they have taught me se valuable lessons.
The appreciation of the current circle no matter how small is important but hard to achieve. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
Your reflection is absolutely top-notch. I’ve been thinking about these questions too, more so intensely this year and from a different perspective. While I’ve reached a point in life in which I’m comfortable by myself, I can’t always avoid the awkward feeling when a connection either goes bland, sour, or just wacky. I think some of it depends on us, and some of it doesn’t. Those who ask questions the most about themselves and life, in general, seem to have a harder time keeping connections alive. Questioning eventually leads to change and when there is a change everyone can feel it, at least unconsciously. We’re in a collective stage of psychological turmoil and exploration. We are being somewhat forced to get to know ourselves and ask what matters. Some can go through that process and keep their bonds, but more often than not there is a gap, a hole in the connection, and that’s natural. Accepting the duality of change and consistency is not easy but is always a work in progress. I hope I didn’t go on a tangent here, but your post allowed me to reflect on these questions with you. Thank you for that opportunity! Loved reading and the experience this post provided me.
Thank you so much and I like your spin-off on this. Sometimes it’s hard to accept the changes and specially in ourselves. There is too many scary questions involved with it.
I saw some pictures of my old Uni friends out drinking in London and it made me think ‘am I missing out?’ Then your post popped up! Great timing 😊
I couldn’t agree more; we spend so much time with these people in our lives, and some we connect with on a deeper level, then they just drift away! I definitely wouldn’t want to be out drinking most nights and not remembering what I did the next day. It sounds like you’ve got much better things going on too, and it’s great you’ve got a handful of friends you can rely on. That’s all you need. Thanks for linking to my blog too! It means so much 😊
I am glad the timing was right 🙂
Your post has excellent and well-written points on this subject so it felt right instead of repeating.