I’m finding a phenomenon occurs when getting back in touch with people from my past. When you haven’t spoken with someone in awhile, especially if there are many years in between contacts, the nostalgia comes flooding back. Memories drench you from head to toe and it is like you are back in that moment, living it and, for better or for worse, feeling it.
This has been the case for me. Thanks to Facebook, I am back in touch with people I haven’t spoken to for a decade or more. It’s exhilarating, fun, and it never gets old (at least not for me).
Friends from my childhood take me back to a simpler time, where my worries were minimal and life was all about the moment. I didn’t have to plan out my entire year around six or seven main events and my biggest concern was…I don’t even remember, that’s how unimportant it was.
Friends from high school bring back lots of memories of careless abandon. Sometimes I wonder how we did not get into more trouble – we were reckless at times, but boy, were they good times.
Then there are those people who can take you back to all those emotions you experienced while with them. Whether it was a new relationship or one that almost-was, a crush, a friend who let you down, it can almost trick you into thinking what you’re feeling is real. That you still have those feelings today.
These feelings invoke many “What Ifs”. What if I had said yes instead of no? What if I had been more committed to my dreams? What if I had let them in instead of pushing them away?
And in getting caught up in the What Ifs, one (well, me anyway) tends to question all of the life choices that brought you into this present moment, right now. It can make you sad and crazy all at the same time, going over every little thing, but ultimately I find it comes down to one question: Would you trade what you have today for what could have been?
While it is great to reconnect, it is not always great to reconsider. There’s no going back. You can’t have a re-do on life. Yes, you can wonder what would have happened, but what does it help? It won’t change anything, and in the worst cases, it will make you resent or regret your present. And what a waste to feel that way for something that never was.
So even though it will continue to happen, at least now I can go in ready. Ready for the deluge of emotion and memories, ready for the what ifs, ready for the quesitons. Next time, I will be able to step back and see it from the outside, to see it for what it really is. A pleasant memory I can cherish. And that is all.