I think one of the weirder things about life is how people come and go in it without a lot of fanfare. Things just happen. You say your hellos and goodbyes and people move on with their lives. One person you’re close to for a while becomes someone who you only sort of remember a few decades later. Social media has eased those connections a little bit. It’s also affirmed my belief that you really only have about a dozen friends who you keep up with a lot and remain interested in throughout your life. I think it’s just the way your brain works. Some people think they can remain connected in a strong way to a few dozen people, but I don’t think that’s possible.
I suppose that this is truer for me for elementary school/junior high friends due to my moving to boarding school at a young age. I have very few connections with people other than family who knew me before I was 14-years old and moved to boarding school. I don’t even remember much about myself before that time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about friends who I am not friends with anymore. One of them was a kid named Josh. I know Josh is probably an adult now, but I have no idea where he lives or what he does.
I was best friends with Josh. We were in Boy Scouts together. We slept over at each other’s houses pretty much every other weekend. Our families were friendly. It just was one of those solid elementary school friendships that you think will last for a long time. He had a pool that we’d hang out in every summer. I remember sleeping in the sunroom at their house and playing N64 late into the night. We went on a few scout trips to Yellowstone and some other western parks. It was a lot of fun. I remember that I tried to convince him to go out for basketball. Athletics were not his strong suit.
Something happened in Junior High. He transferred to another school, and then I started going to boarding school. He then moved to another city and we rarely saw each other after that. Our paths did cross on our trip to Philmont Scout Ranch, but we weren’t close. I don’t think I’ve seen him in over a decade. Yes, I have tried to find him on various social media platforms, but I haven’t tracked him down. Josh was one of the few people whose phone number I can still remember. And now I have no idea what his post-16-year-old self is doing. Life is weird like that.
What are you supposed to do with these memories? It might be nice to see him, but after over a decade, it’s hard to reconnect with some people. Maybe you’re just supposed to keep them for a while and save them for later. Or maybe every mixup and mistake you make with one friend, you’re supposed to learn from for the future. Who knows? I’d still like to see Josh though.
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