A former colleague of mine, who I haven’t had a real conversation with in over two years, actually got together with me for dinner tonight. It’s so funny how Facebook and Instagram are the ways that we somehow “follow” people’s lives now without ever having any real human interaction with them.
We’ve both been aware of each other’s lives: since we last worked at the same company, she has changed jobs, quit her last job, and started her own stationery company; she’s gotten a cute Havanese dog, become engaged, married, and settled in her Upper West Side life. She’s even become a pescatarian. Since then, I ended a serious relationship, helped plan and attend two of my (same) best friend’s weddings, entered into a new relationship, moved in with the guy, got engaged, traveled to over 12 different states and 5 different countries. I also switched jobs, and have suffered a major loss in my life.
It’s like we know each other, but in many ways of course, we do not because we haven’t had that personal connection in so long. But what is comforting to know is that despite the fact that many people think (and I am included in this occasionally) that the world has become more impersonal with the use of technology, smart phones, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as a way of very loosely staying in touch, these means are also a way for us to connect more easily. If it weren’t for Facebook or Instagram, I wouldn’t have known she quit her job to start a business that I actually am really excited for, and I probably wouldn’t have reached out to her to catch up. The night ended on a hopeful note; we’re going to try to see each other more often, and we’ll hopefully be seeing each other when we’re both in San Francisco next week.
I occasionally have gotten sad at times when I think about how I’ve been in this city for over six years, but have never established a friend group I can rely on, or even more than just a handful of friends that I really trust and see regularly. But I think tonight’s meeting made me a little more hopeful that maybe rekindling old connections can be a possibility, and that I can actually meet normal, happy people who aren’t too dysfunctional here. Maybe I’m not the insane-person magnet I thought I was.