by The Urban Blabbermouth
As I get older, I keep wondering about the people I have met and what has become of them. I guess it's a stage of life and I will outgrow it. There must be thousands of people through the years: school people, neighborhood people, work people, and old friends.
The people can be split into further categories if you like. School people can be split into High School and College. They are different, as high school people tend to be neighborhood people while college people are far more disparate as young adults go across the country to get away from their parents and their neighborhood friends. Work people can be split into those who have moved to another company or who are now retirees. Truth is that all the categories make no difference when all I want to know from all of them is, "How did you get on in your life?"
Some years back, I received an email from an old high school girlfriend. I use that term quite loosely as she is a girl and I know her as friend. I have no idea how she tracked me down. I suppose that she Googled my name and sent emails to everyone until she found me.
We exchanged all of three sets of emails. The first set was to establish our identities, to be sure that we were emailing the correct person. The second set was to ask in some manner "How is your life and what did you do with it?" The third set was an answer to the question. We never emailed each other after that. Once we knew what we wanted to know, we were satisfied. We were not true friends in high school and I have no reason to think that would change now these many years later.
I think there should have been a fourth set of emails, one that answers the question, "How did your life compare to what you had in mind at the start?", and more importantly, "How does your life compare to mine?" Each of us did do that comparison but we did not share it with each other. Perhaps we should have but I guess that is something only to be shared with true friends.
Sometimes you get lucky and the people do something that brings them to your notice. I was in a theater watching a movie when I saw one of my high school classmates on the screen. He became an actor and I think he did get an Oscar nomination at some point in his career. I suppose if I Google some names, one of them might show up as president of a Fortune 500 company, or better still, a billionaire. Unfortunately, most of us are quite anonymous.
Facebook has a billion dollar business connecting people in this way. You can now easily search out whomever you like and get the "life" questions answered. I have started to do so but I have not sent any "friend" requests. I want to know about the people but after I get answers to the "life" question, I want to "unfriend" them. It seems so cold and ruthless, like I am just using them to get my answers, then to nuke them out of my life if not out of all of life with an "unfriend".
I have no solution yet, nor do I really need one. I suspect that my life will not improve one bit by knowing the "life" answers about these people. It would be much better all around if I achieved some accomplishment and let that bring me to their notice.