Yesterday I met up with old friends. The oldest of the old friends, really, dating back to when we first moved to Neustadt. I was reminded, as always, how nothing really changes. We all fell back exactly into our well-worn patterns of behaviour and interaction. Marriage, imminent baby, living on another continent, jobs, Ph.Ds, time… none of it matters. Granted, that’s part of why this dynamic so often drives me insane. I don’t believe all relationships are meant to last forever. And to some degree I think these ran their course a long time ago. However, it doesn’t cost me much, really, to engage occasionally. And the experiences are not unpleasant. (Well, once a year they are very much so, but that will not be happening again…)
It makes me wonder why we do it. Politeness? An unwillingness to completely let go of the past? A fear that we might miss something important? I really don’t know. And for someone like me, who is so reticent to leap into the unknown of forming new relationships, you’d think I’d cherish old ones all the more.
I do. But I cherish the ones that fit who I am now, not the ones that force me to curl up back into the patterns of my past.