Saturday, May 8, 2010

In and Out

As my blog tagline indicates, change and transformation fascinate me in general. The way the new replaces the old in nature, in our lives, in technology, medicine, art, all over, preoccupies me.

I think a lot about changes in life. Not those abrupt ones than happen suddenly (they really frighten me), but those smooth ones we don't notice happening until one day we realize they happened. Once important parts of our lives evaporate, as we take up new activities, meet new friends, move on.

We all had friendships triggered by circumstances (people we befriended while living in a neighborhood, at work, during army service, school, university, gym, art class, you name it), that ended with the changes in circumstances (moving to a different neighborhood, starting a new job, finishing studies). Circumstantial friendships are an important part of our social life, alongside our true, lifelong friendships, occasional encounters, superficial relationships, family. Their coming and going is part of the continuous change in our life.

People we were close to in previous periods move away from us as their lives and priorities change too. Maintenance needs more resources than we care to invest and the relationship empties out. We realize there's been months/years since we talked to/met such-and-such. And then one day we ask ourselves what exactly do we have in common with this person? And the usual answer is 'not much'.

So what affects who goes and who stays? The equation seems to be 'the stronger the initial bond, the more we are willing to invest in maintaining the relationship'.

Full disclosure: this post was inspired by my own friendship with M and by this post.

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