Thursday, December 15, 2005

Long Lost (or not) Friendships

Recently I've been feeling strangely nostalgic about my college years. Now, that might sound normal coming from someone who has been out of school for two years but to me it feels weird. I had a pretty good time during my years at Penn State but I wouldn't say that it was the best time of my life (like so many other PSU alum would). I would say it was average. Those years were accompanied by a lot of frustrations and the desire to finish quickly. So why, two years later do I have the feeling of missing it? In the last month I've been missing my college friends so much that I actually did a Yahoo! search for one of them. And you must know that I haven't talked to any of my friends from college pretty much since I graduated.

Maybe it's the fact that virtually no one in Atlanta likes Penn State (at least not as much as they love UGA). Or maybe it's because the one thing that connected my experience, my friends, and my alma mater -- football -- was in the news every week this fall. Whatever the reason, I miss my old friends. Once I admitted to myself that, in fact, I'm very bad at keeping up with friends when we're not together I decided to make a change. I realized that it's often the little things that count so I sent hand-written cards to 2 high school friends that I haven't seen in months. I made it a point to at least text message my college roommate on her birthday. And like I said earlier, I set out to find the friend that had the most influence on my decision to even apply to Penn State to begin with.

This simple search -- and it's results --has changed me in an eerily profound way. I did locate this friend through what turned out to be a business's old website that just hasn't been updated yet, but I didn't know that before I sent an email with the subject "Remember me?". To my amazement my friend responded the next morning with a great email sharing all about the end of school, being married, and moving to NYC. Not only that but, as much as email can convey, I felt such was warmth and mutual excitement that there has been this small rekindling. We're both looking forward to catching up more over the phone during my 10+ hour drive home next week.

So maybe that sense of nostalgia isn't strange after all. Maybe I needed that in order to be reminded, yet again, of the importance of friendship and the faithfulness of God. Though it may seem like a stretch, the fact that my friend was so willing to re-establish some sort of friendship, even after all of the years and life changes, reminded me of God's willingness to re-establish relationships with his children that have lost touch. As my church here in Atlanta is so involved in drug and alcohol recovery, I meet people all the time who are clean and sober one day only to be back out on the streets a few days/weeks/months later. It's always difficult to hear that they've been seen hanging out back in their old places with their old people doing their old things. But now, with the re-introduction of an old friend into my life, I am given hope and confidence that those that have lost their connection with Christ, whether by addiction or any other vice, will also have the same result when they perform just a simple search.

3 Comments:

Blogger Christie said...

I'm glad you made a change. Maybe you will encourage me. I can think of 2 friends from college that I'd really like to catch up with. I haven't spoken to them in over a year. Its definitely a challenge in some cases to remain friends with someone when the context has totally changed. I think these are our growing pains.

xoxo

11:59 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

We lived in Atlanta while. I doubt you are feeling nostalgia for these winters. :-)

4:24 PM  
Blogger Shayes said...

Julana,

I actually just came back to PA for Christmas and I'm missing Atlanta weather already! However, it is nice to see some snow around the holidays instead of just rain.

Sarah

10:51 AM  

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