Goodbye old friend

The trouble with long-term relationships is the struggle to see someone for who they are and not the person they used to be all those years ago.

Granted, there can be comfort in having known someone for several years or more – and having that same someone know you equally as well. Familiarity can breed a sense of continuity in life just as well as it is able to breed contempt.

In modern life, we are better connected than ever via social media and the internet. However, the ties which create our social bonds these days seem somewhat less real than they were in our youth.

Gone are the days of going to a social gathering with the hope of meeting someone new. If you want a date at the party you had better bring your own, or else risk sitting alone staring at your phone all evening. I made countless new friends and acquaintances in my college days simply by sitting next to new people in the cafeteria. My presence was always warmly recieved and I learned a great deal about my schoolmates and the world we shared with this simple act of social grace.

Some of the friends I can recall by name – others by a distinguishing remark that changed my perspective on one topic or another. Many faces and features fill my mind when I remember those countless cafeteria meals which served to nourish my young ravenous mind. Some of them became friends for a lifetime. Some of their lives were cut far too short.

The stark truth is that every relationship ends. One day – everyone you love, like, or disdain will one day no longer darken the door of your life. When that day comes, all we can hope is to be left with pleasant memories… and when memory fails, then may we blessed by the vague notion that our life was spent among people who were worthwhile.

Wilhelm Marstrand, Don Quixote og Sancho Panza ved en skillevej, uden datering – 1847
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