What is a friend?

A lot has changed for me in the past ten years. Ten years ago, I was living with my parents, staying up until wee hours of the morning listening to music, playing guitar and recording through my computer. I was jamming with friends in a band that practiced at least once a week. I was floating from one job to the next with no interest in finding a career.

As far as responsibility goes, I’m certainly doing better these days. What’s the problem, you might ask? Well, I find myself facing somewhat of a conundrum. I don’t really understand what a true friend is. The reason is because most of the people that I’ve considered friends at some point during, if not of all of, the past ten years have turned out to be something I find different than friends. Acquaintances.

In fact, a small issue fractured a friendship between an old high school buddy and myself, and it wasn’t even an issue between the two of us. It was between his girlfriend and me. At the time, I thought of us as being each other’s best friend. When things fell through, they fell hard. It really made me question the genuineness of our friendship to begin with. Needless to say, that has been nearly five years now, and not a word has been exchanged between us since. Despite the fact that I still hold some anger at how these deteriorated between us, I also miss the way things were between us.

Then there were friends I made while going to college. These were people I saw several days a week, sometimes every weekday of the week. There were some complications regarding some of these friendships, mainly due to an interest on my part of wanting to be more than friends, and I admit that I went about some things the wrong way in a few situations. Hindsight is always 20/20, and you can always look back on every situation and find decisions and actions that you could have done better by doing differently, but we’re all human. I am no exception. Either way, I grew fond of all of the friends I made in college, and always thought I would know the ones who I spent most of my time in college with for a long time, even if distance would be a factor.

I just find it strange how people you want to think of as friends turn out to be little more than exceptional acquaintances. Metaphorically, you could compare them to a relic that bore some great importance during a specific window of time, but only now lies in the vault of your mind as little more than a memory, deteriorating even more as time goes by. Perhaps to one day vanish completely altogether.

Or, perhaps, it is more appropriate to say that I am the relic.

I’m certainly not unhappy. I met my fiancée several years ago, and she has changed my life so dramatically. That’s the funniest part about it. Before, I would have looked on at these circumstances and been depressed, or at least bothered. Instead, I look at it now and just wonder “why did I care so much about these people?” Maybe it’s more of a matter of angering than saddening. That may make me seem cold, but you’d have to see it through my eyes. After all, when I last saw these acquaintances, I didn’t have my fiancée in my life. I wasn’t as happy as I am today. In fact, the friendships I thought I had with these people were the most enjoyable aspect of my social life at the time. I spent a great deal of time working full time and going to school full time. I didn’t have a lot of time for relationships with people outside of school.

Hopefully, not everyone who knew me in the past will read this blog post and assume it is about them. In fact, some people who I made friends with and only briefly knew and had time to be around during those days, have continued to stay in touch on some level. I certainly don’t wish for any one like that to think I’m disregarding that relationship or putting it down. There are just some who have literally severed all ties with me, and, in some cases, even acted as though it would be too demanding of them to ever reunite and hangout during occasions where we might be in the same town, as well as severed all ties with me in terms of connections on social media sites. That just doesn’t make sense to me.