The older I get the more I notice people moving away and starting their own thing. How do you feel when important figures in your life moving away? Imagine your closest group of friends one by one moving across country.

I moved away, too. I am Facebook friends with my friends from high school and college but we aren’t really friends anymore. I haven’t seen my college friends in more than a decade. I saw some of my high school friends for the first time in a decade a couple of years ago when we reconnected at a funeral and I was surprised by how different our dynamic was. When we were in high school, I was shy and quiet and they kind of dictated everything and they were the ones who had social successes with people outside our group. When we reconnected, I was surprised by how timid they seemed. I was the one making small talk with the people we didn’t know. At one point, the family wanted to take a group photo and some people hadn’t gotten the message and people were standing around waiting and trying to figure out how to get the missing people to join us and I was the one who just shook my head and marched up to the people and said “hey, we’re doing a group photo right now, can you come over here?” It made me realize how much I had changed since high school. I also realized that some of them were still playing the kinds of games they played in high school (judging people and trying to exclude them) and they weren’t people I would want to know. A couple seemed like people I would befriend now but the relationship dynamic would be really different than what it was when we were young. People change so much from their teenage years into adulthood. It doesn’t surprise me that those friendships fade.

I settled down in the area I live now after college and, over the years, I made friends through jobs and activities I became involved in. Those are my close friends. Some are like family.

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