Thursday, December 01, 2005

K.I.T.

After completing 18 years of schooling I have collected nearly as many yearbooks. In nearly every single one, someone has written the letters "K.I.T." - keep in touch. As the years have passed it has gotten more and more difficult to follow through with my friends and former friends' request. Ever since I've graduated I've become more accutely aware of this.

After graduating from high school, my friends and I dispersed to colleges throughout the east. Some friends, who were truly amusing, brilliant, and jovial, I quickly lost touch with when I didn't have a daily lunch break to reuinte us. College classes, activities, social networks, and internships ate up my time and I failed to find a moment to dial, e-mail or IM. Others I contacted dilligently because they were my closest and dearest friends, my mental and emotional strongholds during a period when I couldn't be one for myself. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today, but as time has passed we had forged our own paths and, in two unfortunate cases, chose to alienate ourselves from one another. That leaves me with the remainder of my friends.

I'm on a quest to learn how to reconstruct the chains of friendship that have become brittle or broken these past few years. There are people who I really wish I had continued to speak to during my college years, but failed to. I want to contact them and see if they still have the same characteristcs that drew me to them originally. Or maybe I'll find that they have new traits that will peak my interest. This is a mission that I began last night by IMing someone I haven't really sat down and talked to in years.

There are friends that I have been meeting up with every few months. I want to make a commitment to make sure that this continues because I value their friendship, input, and perspective. I miss them when they are not around.

This whole pursuit causes a bit of trepidation for me though. When you deal with people who are close to you, you also deal with your heart. There have been instances in my past where friends had taken advantage of me and when I have taken advantage of some of my friends. I've been hurt and I have hurt others. I am sure that these situations were not created intentionally. I now attribute them to our immaturity and inability to recognize the situation as exploitive. I'd like to make amends with them one day, but in the meantime I fear that my well intentions will be abused. I refuse to let my own paranoia debilitate me though.

All these plans are well and good, but the true test is whether I actually follow through. I'm still trying to find a balance here at work. Events happen all the time - days, nights, weekends. In fact, I was at work for a mini-conference at 6:30 a.m. today. Busy weeks zap me of all my energy. Throw in the fact that I have to commute one and a half to two hours each way on a typical day and I can barely find enough time for my own peace of mind. The true challenge lies in being able to find time for family, friends, work, and myself.

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