Recently I have had a grand opportunity to reconnect with some people that I haven't had the pleasure of connecting with in quite some time; it feels amazing. We've talked quite extensively about our past adventures (and trust me, some of them most certainly were adventures), and have spent a lot of time just filling each other in about our lives since our paths diverged. Just the act of reconnecting has been a learning experience for me.
My whole life has been about never looking back. It's not that I have spent my whole life running from anything, it's just that I don't like to dwell on the past, I never really had a great one. I'm not an emo, or a cry baby, but I certainly, even from the outside, didn't have the greatest one. I wasn't abused, or have bad parents, I wasn't adopted or anything of that magnitude. I just didn't fit in. Even today, I still have a hard time relating to my peers. I just don't "get" people. I can read people, and I can understand them, but most of the time, I feel like an observer. I just don't belong here. If you don't understand, that's understandable. It's hard to explain.
But life, as always, works in mysterious ways.
I don't play games online very much, and I reach out to others even less often. I'm just not very social. I have very few friends and actually prefer it that way. I have been that way my whole life; socially awkward. But for some reason, a blip from my past swam into my radar, and wanted to connect.
I was amused, curious, and a bit apprehensive, and I think he was as well. We hadn't spoken in over a decade and didn't really know what to expect. At one time, he was my best friend, and only friend in the world. I had a few people I knew and hung out with occasionally, but this guy was was different. He was my friend, and then one day he wasn't, or so I thought. A series of events happened in rapid succession that changed our course and caused some simple misunderstandings.
With me, it's always focus on the present, as the past is immutable, you don't know if you're going to be here tomorrow.
A few months ago, I start playing online games with another friend of mine very heavily, almost daily. We have playful banter and go online to have playful banter with others. I find it amusing and quite humorous most of the time. I think I posted something on facebook or maybe a friend of a friend told him where I could be found. He reached out to me, and we started playing together.
At first, it was a little awkward, what can I say, what should I say, do I have to act different, what should I do? In the end, I just did what I always do, and was just myself. I figured why try to be different when the real me is going to expose himself anyway. I don't normally put that much thought into situations like that, and usually end up on my default setting anyway, but this felt different.
We had a blast.
We've been playing together now for several months, and in that time, we've actually grown quite close again. We've spent a lot of time reminiscing about past exploits, and our personal lives, things we've done, places we've gone; and most importantly, made each other laugh. It's been an amazing adventure for me, and for him as well.
This whole experience has made me realize always pushing forward may not be the only way to go, and that sometimes, I need to stop and realize where I've been. My favorite mantra has always been, "my past has made me who I am." Maybe it's time I actually stand toe to toe with it and think about how it wasn't always bad.