Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Life Then v. Life Now

After doing my senior year of high school/freshman year of college at Mercer, I transferred to the University of Georgia. UGA was odd to me in that most people seemed to hang out with their high school friends--not branching far beyond that group. Unfortunately despite my gradauting class' size, only three of us were attending UGA. Nic and I lived in the same apartment complex, and Greg lived around the corner. We saw each other pretty much every day. Greg and I ran together and watched Silk Stalkings at night. We had numerous Taco Stand and Hodgson's ice cream (25 cents a scoop!) runs. I even stole Greg's keys out of his pocket one night to drive Nic and me home (and I should definitely not have been driving), leaving him stranded downtown with a not-cute girl. And he wasn't even mad at me. And I've not talked to Greg in at least two years.

My boss from this last year at PTM called me tonight to tell me that they've missed me and to check in, and it's hard for me to believe I left such an awesome place where I felt so loved and appreciated. And I miss them a lot. In fact, whenever I think about starting to volunteer at the afterschool program nearby I get upset b/c it makes me miss PTM so much. And then I start thinking about my life in Nashville and the people that I miss.

With the way life is now, there will be hundreds of people who play important roles in our lives but eventually will just be memories. We won't necessarily know (unless they are our Facebook friend:) if they are doing well, are healthy, married, etc. And it's just weird. It's almost bizarre when you think about it. Just 100 years ago I imagine that most people never went more than a few miles from their homes--ever. They invested in the same community and people for their entire lifetime, only saying good-bye when someone died. Granted, I like having mobility and not being destined to live where I was born for my entire life, but there's just something bittersweet (and a bit emotionally exhausting) about the rapid way our lives change and how transient we are now. It's difficult to stay invested in old relationships and make time for new ones. It's challenging to let go of people, realizing that you can't move forward and cling to everyone from the past. And it's not that I even want to; it's just odd to think about how integral people have been in my life, and now how I don't even know their phone numbers.

p.s. I'm grateful for the healing relationships God placed in my life this last year. As much as people come and go, it's awesome to have relationships that will hopefully have a lifelong effect on me.

14 comments:

Aaron said...

I guess it's the introduction of gadgets that allow people to be so widespread and still feel connected to something. Although, I'm bothered by the friends that just pick up, skip town and disappear -- only to reintroduce themselves later in life and act like they weren't ever gone. Oh, wait, that's you and me. :P (j/k)

The only thing truly transient are our us. In the grand scheme of things, life is incredibly brief.

ocdism said...

I'm w/Aaron.. life is VERY brief..and no matter who I make friends with and no matter who comes and goes in and out of my "life picture" I know that in the end...we will meet again (if they love and live for the Lord) and that's the way God wants it...
Life is just FULL of changes. :)

ella said...

I recently heard that social networking sites like facebook now have more traffic than porn sites.

I know, random.

Jeff Price said...

Excellent point about the transient nature of life. I love meeting new people and developing relationships, but there is no doubt a hindrance to deep relationships created by all this mobility. That is not something God desires for our lives, despite his ability to redeem our current situation.

Community and communion should be measured by the depth of the relationship, and not by our number of friends on Facebook, MySpace or even our phone books. We can walk in obedience to the Lord by both acting or moving when he calls us to extraordinary changes and by making commitments to people and communities by staying with them. The key is obedience to his calling and that takes submission, humility and wisdom to discern. Amen for redemption and grace for without it we would bear the unfortunate consequences of not heeding his call more often.

Jenn said...

I've thought about this a lot lately. It's weird how life changes and people that were once so important or played such significant roles really are just memories. I wonder who those people will be that are currently in my life. IT makes me sad thinking about it and yet I know it's inevitable based on current circumstances.

While Facebook isn't ideal for being close friends with anyone, it is nice to check in on those people from time to time and know they're there. (o: But I'm also a Facebook junkie.

kathrynthomas said...

i was thinking about that just a few days ago when i watched "the assassination of jesse james..." (brad pitt, casey affleck). at the beginning of the film, jesse's brother frank moves to baltimore (as he did in real life) and that's the last time that frank ever saw him. technology is an interesting monster, able to both bring together communities that would've never existed, yet isolate individuals at the same time. seems like the ultimate oxymoron.

anyway, i feel the need for an update. i'm a bit lost on the decision for a job/city change on your end (which is probably my own fault, as i've been traveling so much). please drop me an email when you get a chance. talk with you soon.

brandy said...

"It's challenging to let go of people, realizing that you can't move forward and cling to everyone from the past." I feel like this is something I need to re-learn all the time. Although, one could argue, if I need to 're-learn' it may mean I didn't really ever learn it.

Lib said...

"It's difficult to stay invested in old relationships and make time for new ones. It's challenging to let go of people, realizing that you can't move forward and cling to everyone from the past. And it's not that I even want to; it's just odd to think about how integral people have been in my life, and now how I don't even know their phone numbers."

NO KIDDING.

also, forgot to mention the other night that I am also obsessed with Pandora, and still can't believe it's free. Lately I've been listening to the Vivaldi station...i have this thing for Baroque music.

Ys said...

It is kind of sad how quickly people can slip out of your lives, isn't it? Cos in adulthood I think I can count on one hand how many really good friends I've made.

allbilly said...

but you have to admit that sometimes it is really great to leave people behind and move on....

MrsKristinClark said...

It is pretty awakening when we realize these things ... I think it is a huge step of the 20's. It is amazing how something that can mean so much seems to fade away after a few decisions.
Thanks for the thoughts, they fit pretty nicely in my life bubble right now, too.

Thomas said...

This is a very nice post, Ally. he kind I expect from you.

cdp said...

What a lovely post. I have nothing to add.

erin said...

First off, I went to UGA too! Neat. Second, I also moved far away after graduation, and if it wasn't for Facebook I wouldn't have kept in touch with hardly anyone. It's crazy how some people just slip away, and then others you go years with out seeing, but can pick right up where you left off. Those are the best.