One interesting thing about getting older, is the fact that we get to know so many different folks throughout our lifetime. Even more interesting though, is how the rotation of people we are close to can change so drastically over the years. Think about it. Do you remember the very first best friend you ever had? I do! Her name was Kalia Williams. She lived across the street from me in Detroit. Her entire family was actually very close to our family (and what a huge family she had! Three brothers and 2 sisters I think). Her father was the pastor of a VERY baptist church. I remember whenever we went to visit them on Sunday, we would dance for hours, play the tambourine, speak in tongues, and then get sanctified all the way to the ground as parishioners would proceed to cover us with blankets (I then proceeded to take a quick nap during this time). We had tons of fun! When our parents started looking for a kindergarten, they decided to send us both to the same one (good ole' Dewey Center for Urban Education...which is now closed). There were 2 different kindergarten classes at the school I recall. Me and Kalia got split up though. Upon returning to school the next day, to my surprise, Kalia was there in the same room as me! I later found out that she had a HUGE crying spell about not being in the same class as her best friend... to the point where her mom told the school to put us back together again. After a few years, me and Kalia eventually got put in different classes again (around 4th grade I think). We were sad, but no crying was involved since we'd still be in the same school at least. After 6th grade, my family moved out of our house as we simultaneously changed schools. I said my goodbyes to my childhood friend, promised to visit, write, call, and all that jazz... Would you like to know what happened to Kalia? Me freakin too! I have absolutely no idea! We went from seeing each other almost every single day during our formative years, to...nothing.
This sounds like a tragic tale of lost connection, but it actually happens quite often. Perhaps everyone is different though. Maybe some of you are really good at keeping in touch with everyone you say you're gonna keep in touch with. And yes, in some instances, if the connection is deep enough, it can last quite a long time. However, one thing I have noticed is that the constant changes in our individual lives can drive tremendous wedges between said relationships. In my life, I've probably been well over 100 different versions of myself. I've probably had, at one point or another, a different friend to cater to each one! Once I stop being the Bretony I was during a particular time period, I suppose the people I knew during that time are no longer as close...or even familiar with the Bretony I've become.
I bet at this point some of you are probably going through your mental rolodex of ancient friendships you've had, and wondering what the heck happened, right? Same! As I type this very blog, I'm reminiscing about all of the super close friends I use to have, whom I barely know anything about at all anymore. Crazy! I wonder what my life would be like if I really did keep up with everyone. Probably very overwhelming. Possibly full of drama as well. Maybe super fun! Once in a blue moon, through the magic of Facebook, I'll peruse around and see what all of my old pals are up to. Sometimes I'll reach out and see how things are. It's always very interesting seeing how people have grown. Also interesting to see how DRASTICALLY some have changed. I've seen some people make complete 360s in their lives. I've seen the super straight laced and sober become stoner alcoholics, atheists become devote christians, straight people become gay (and vice versa), materialistic and vain become no makeup wearing, non shaving feminists...just to name a few examples. Point is, the person you knew when you knew them is not necessarily the person that they've grown into. It may be for the better, and it may be for the worse, but being young is that time when everyone has to figure out who exactly they will be for the second half of their existence.
When we are young, we are still figuring everything out, so it's very natural and understandable to go through a slue of companions as well as a slue of emotions and ideologies. We should very much so embrace these changes, and just go with the flow. Everyone who comes into our life is a necessary part of our progression...and maybe theirs too. At the very least we can know that at one time there was something that connected us...something that is still inside of us in some way shape or form, just a bit more evolved. As I begin to approach my 30s, I am very excited about being a bit more comfortable with the person I am. All of my values and morals are starting to solidify, my goals and ambitions are becoming a bit more clear and focused, and I basically just KNOW who I am much more than I use to. Very epiphanic.
All of this to say, embrace your relationships of the past and appreciate them for what they were. We all grow. Some grow together, some grow apart, but the fact still remains that there is growth. Even though you may not share all of the same interests anymore, or are separated by time and space, it's good to see how everyone has turned out due to your presence. I really do wonder what happened to Kalia. Wherever she may be, I hope she still remembers her very first best friend and the tears she shed to be in Ms. Jenkins class with me!
P.s. On a serious note though, my elementary, middle, AND high school have all been torn down! Wtf Detroit?? (Cass Tech is still around, but they tore down the old building. Yes I'm still mad). Here is a very eye opening website about the epidemic.
P.p.s. Sometimes when I'm getting super deep into thinking about this subject, I wonder if change itself is one big myth. Does one ever really "change", or do we simply REVEAL what was there all along?
P.p.p.s. I actually think my younger sister Krista may have been my first best friend, but I really don't want to admit that. Now THAT'S a person who's changed over the years for real.