Some of you may know that I used to live with four other roommates–apparently trying to extend my college years. We all recently moved out because two of them got jobs in San Diego, another in Denver and another up and got married. This left me in Chicago to move in with my brother and live a more solitary life.
No I didn’t actually lose my friends, but the events turned a page in my life that allow for something special to occur. I’ll see those old friends again, but they get to experience new loves, locations and adventures. Where does that leave me? I’m in the same location, but without a few key friends to share the ride with.
After settling in for a few weeks I started to realize that change is always for the better. Losing friends opens up ways to connect with those old buddies even more, and I have the chance to explore my personality with new facets of life.
There’s a few things during this time that helped me grow.
The Stories That Come Along With It
I don’t know about you, but remembering stories is always more enjoyable than experiencing the actual thing, because you know that the real moment will always end–and then it’s gone forever. When you recollect your times with friends and loved ones you have a chance to relive it over and over again. It gives you an excuse to call or meet up with old friends. The best part is that you get to sit down and write about your past and enjoy it for years to come.
Not to mention, losing friends to travel or marriage or jobs offers a chance to follow them around. I now get to live vicariously through the folks who are scattered throughout the country.
You make new stories.
Speaking of new stories, when my two buddies were talking about moving to San Diego I made a last minute decision to take a roadtrip with them and fly back. We visited Denver to clank beers with our other displaced roommate, we stopped at Zion and Arches National Parks and I explored Pacific Beach, where we watched a Cheetah run 100 meters at the zoo and paddle boarded into the Pacific. Without the changes I never would have created these stories.
It Opens Up Chances To Meet New People
I try to meet as many bloggers, writers and authors online to expand my reaches, but I never really had close writer friends to meet for drinks and swap stories. I’ve met with a few people in the Chicago area, but haven’t kept in touch, or the scheduling didn’t work out to meet in the future.
Separating with friends (who I hung out with at all events) gives me a chance to attend more writing functions in my area and connect with those who might share similar career interests with me. Most of my friends are sport nuts, so instead of going to a Cubs game I might attend a reading or a conference to mingle with folks I’m not used to speaking with.
Connect With the World That Was Always Around Me
I never experienced the school life where I crunched into a library corner and made friends with book characters. I played sports, did musical and was around people all of the time. I think this hindered my personal connection with the sights and sounds of my environment. Instead of listening and watching, my mind was filled with constant human interaction. Someone else would probably describe the murmurs of a library or the waves of a lake better than I, because human voices block that stuff out.
Sure, I’m grateful for the social skills built throughout my early years, but changes in personnel gives me that chance to get in touch with other senses and appreciate different aspects of life. I’m pretty good at talking to people, but I know the introvert side of me is still waiting for its chance at creativity.
It Leaves Time to Connect With Myself
Thomas Szasz once stated, “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”
I don’t think anyone truly “finds oneself,” but losing people or things or opportunities presents a time to reach into your own mind and at least ponder how to do good with your life. Huge life changes won’t give me the secret key to success or happiness, but they give me the jolt I need to wake up and realize that life is pretty cool, and there’s much to learn.
Let me know in the comments section if you ever lost a significant piece of your life and then realized there were plenty of upsides.