These are emotions I feel.
And many more.
All at the same time.
I try to understand people around me.
I try to understand people who I think are my friends.
I try to understand people who once I thought were my friends.
But all the questions go back to one: what was a friendship in the past, is really a friendship today?
Will it be a friendship in the future, too?
In this context, “Past” means B.C. Before COVID.
I was traveling. A lot.
Wherever I went in the world, I had friends around.
I am an introvert, but still: it was good to have a nice dinner with good friends once in a while, at random places around the globe.
Or just a simple coffee. Even if it was not the best coffee I had ever had, friends always made it special.
It was good to land at airports with messages waiting for me on the phone asking when and where to meet after I collect my luggage.
It was good to bump into random friends in random airport lounges, coming from different places, traveling to different destinations, but still, spending the layover together with zero (or close to zero) planning ahead.
It was good when friends from around the globe could visit us, and/or we could visit them.
It was good making plans about the next trips together…
Then the pandemic hit all of us.
First, we thought it would be just a few weeks.
Maybe a few months.
Now, a year later, we still don’t know when it will be over.
This past year has changed all of us. No exception.
Some old friends disappeared.
Some just slowly have grown apart.
Some appear and disappear occasionally.
Others are part of my life more than ever before. Online, of course, but still. Those regular calls and messages mean connection.
Connection to the outside world.
Outside of our home, city, and country.
And also, outside of my own head.
This is our Present now.
It cannot be compared to the Past at all.
It feels like another galaxy.
The Future is still unknown. It’ll come, sooner or later, yes — but at the moment, we cannot plan for anything.
We just have to solve and survive the Present.
With the friends of us in the Present.
Even if we miss some of the Past friends. They were part of the Past, but if they cannot, don’t want to, or just not ready to be present in the Present then we have to let them go and accept that our paths have split for now.
We have to deal with the Present now.
One by one. Day by day.
I know the “new normal” will come, sooner or later.
I also know it will be different to the “old normal”.
What it will be like? — I have no idea.
Again, I am focusing on the Present challenges.
Friends from the Past might be back in the Future.
But those persons will not be the ones from the Past anymore.
I am not the same as I was a year ago, either.
Hopefully I’m not worse. Maybe I’m better. I am different, for sure.
We all have changed.
But while we cannot plan anything for the Future at the moment, there’s one thing I know for sure.
Every friend of mine from the Past or Present, helps me deal with the Present, and get ready for the Future, in their own, unique ways.
Some of them with fond memories which always make me smile.
Some of them with encouraging messages, telling me this is just “minor pot-hole along life’s ever interesting roadmap”, or “worry doesn’t solve anything”.
Some friends are just simply there when I need them the most.
Some of them just check-in once a month, or even less.
But regardless of everything…
Whenever you send me a message, asking me how I am doing; or just with a photo of your child or dog; or telling me how bad weather you have in your part of the world; or telling me how beautiful weather you have in your part of the world; or just calling me randomly while you’re driving to the grocery store; or asking me to have a virtual coffee/tea/cake/wine together; or reminding me of any memories we had together…
I’m sure we’ll be together again.
We just have to wait until the Future is ready to come.