Monday, June 22, 2009

Celebrating Old Friendships

From the time I graduated college until a few years ago I led a very transient lifestyle.  Though I had a home and a family, I was constantly on the move.  I would move from city to city as the projects on which I worked dictated.  Over the years I spent at least twelve months or more living in cities like Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.  Along the way I would make many friends in these cities and then I would move on.  In the years before cell phones, e-mail and social network websites I would frequently lose contact with these friends several years after I had moved to the next location.
Thankfully through Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking websites I have reconnected with many of these friends from years past.  This evening I had the opportunity to have dinner with one of my friends from the past.  Wendy was a fellow student at my university - Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  We were in similar majors during school so we knew of each other, however we were not close friends.  After graduation we both went to work for the same company - Andersen Consulting.  During our first years with the company we were deployed to the same projects at various clients in the Pittsburgh area.  In the spring of 1990 we were both assigned to a project in Minneapolis.
In Minneapolis we were part of a large group of friends who did practically everything together.  We were all in our early twenties - we worked hard during the day and then we would play very hard at night.  A routine was established by which we would put in our 10 - 12 hours of work, get in a workout and then go out and drink lots and lots of beer and kamikazes at the Top Hat Bar and Lounge in St. Paul.  It was a great time and we all had lots of fun.
But times change and eventually our project in Minneapolis ended.  Wendy left Andersen and our paths diverged.   We saw each other every once in a while at a university reunion event of one type or another but then we lost contact and the friendship was broken.
In late 2008 we reconnected through Facebook.  It was fun to reconnect and exchange e-mails and see what was going on in each other's lives.  I have repeated this countless times in the last year as I have reconnect with friends from high school, university and previous employers.  This evening it was really nice to reconnect with Wendy exchange stories about our lives.  It was neat to hear about her work, dogs and husband.  For me it was nice to just be able to talk about Zack, our struggles of the last couple of years and where the path of life is taking me now.
Both of us have reconnected with friends that the other has not.  It is like knitting a circle together.  Each of us brought one part of the circle of friends together and we are now linking them together.  It will be fun to reconnect with some of the people who Wendy has still has connections to that I do not.  
I guess the point this...  In this day of cell phones, e-mail and other communication mechanisms it is very easy to stay in touch with your friends of the present.  But don't forget about friends of the past, search them out and reconnect.  It is well worth the effort.
Not much else to say about the day.  My legs are a little bit sore from the efforts of yesterday.  My mind is still ever so much troubled by the last week.  As hard as I work to handle the situation I continue to feel haunted by an immense sense of loss.  I am certain this feeling will continue to occupy my thoughts for a long time to come!
Tomorrow (Tuesday) will be an exceedingly busy day for me.  I must be up very early so that I can get a start on the day.  I need to get Zack to WCCK and get on the road to Boulder very early.  I need to be back here in Centennial for a 4:00PM dentist appointment to finally finish off the work on my tooth that had an abscess several months ago.
With that I am off to bed.  Thanks and peace to all! - J.

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