Social History

Apr 29, 2014 by

          Last night, my thesis-writing friend asked if I was free to grab coffee with him and a girl we went to high school with. More than willing to ditch my original Monday night plan of filing my tax return, I was sipping sugarless iced passion tea at Starbucks an hour and a half later. I felt like I could breathe easier than I have been lately, and I knew I could attribute this to the people I was with. There is just something about being around old friends. In missing Olivia as much as I do, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Recently, I’ve noticed that I have more of a desire to be around old friends than new ones. My new friends are wonderful, but there is a different kind of comfort that comes from being near old friends, and I’ve been craving it.

          Coincidently, last night, the topic of comfort derived from old friends came up. We recalled the irony in the warning so many adults gave us as teenagers: relative to friends we would meet in university and later in life, our high school friends wouldn’t matter. Despite what we were told, there we were, three people in our mid-twenties who met in high school, talking over coffee like we had just come from class. One made the observation that friends from high school seem to gravitate back to each other, even after years apart.

          Personally, I didn’t maintain most of my high school friendships. I took those warnings from adults as fact. Under the impression that I’d make lifelong friends in university (insert my laughter here), once high school ended, I disposed of almost all high school friends. In all fairness, this had a lot more to do with my standards for the type of people I wanted as friends than the simple truth that I had met them in high school. Many of the people I was friends with in high school were intentionally hacking away at my self-esteem by the end. I have never regretted cutting them out of my life. Happiness does not come from associating with people who fail to treat you as you expect to be treated (i.e. with respect). Had I held on to those relationships, I am certain that I would not be as confident as I am today.

          However, the point that some old friends return to each other is a valid one. There are people I’ve gone years without seeing, who I’ve effortlessly picked up with upon seeing again, as if no time passed. In one case, the case of the friend who invited me out last night, I re-established a healthy friendship after a big falling out at the end of high school. (This is probably why he is completely unconvinced that my friendship with Olivia is over. During our faux Valentine’s date, we were talking about how he and I hated each other so much by high school graduation that neither of us ever thought we’d be friends again. We were on good terms by the end of our second year of university, and we’re now completely cool and chill regularly.) These occurrences were made possible by connections formed years prior.

          Old friends, having known me at a younger age, have history on me. New friends don’t have as much firsthand background, which can be a comfort itself. Sometimes, though, I need the ones that know the history because they were there for it. Right now, that means I need the ones who comprehend the gravity of a Maria (or Theresa, as most old friends know me) without her Olivia. Not because I need to talk about it (I prefer not to talk about it), but because there is comfort in knowing that they silently get it.

Happiness Tip: Retreat to old friends.

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  1. High school friends def are the best sometimes! It sucks that you ended up with evil self-esteem hacking ppl at Mayfield though :/ yeah, I’m a former classmate! 😉 LOL

    • I don’t focus on those peeps, girl. Everyone has had the experience of their self-esteem being lowered by others. What I really ended up with because of Mayfield are a few wonderful friends who I can call no matter how long it’s been since graduation.

      Yes, I knew you looked familiar. Plus, you retweeted my picture of the plaza that was built across the street from the school a few months ago, and you mentioned the apple farm. Only a fellow Mayfield grad would know about that farm. (Confession: In my four years at Mayfield, I never visited it for a lunchtime apple pie once. #regrets)

      • That’s the best part of Mayfield, coming out with some amazing friends and weird crazy memories of that farm school of ours.

        Art program! althou our interactions were very limited, so beyond a hi or your cardboard-chair looks pretty cool, that was pretty much it. 🙂 the world is a funny place.

        omg, dude, that apple pie is good! one day, you must return 🙂

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