Archives for posts with tag: connections

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If you’re lucky you will meet countless people throughout your life in many different settings. Some will be strictly acquaintances that you know from work or through other friends. Some will grow into true friendships, and other may grow into more.

Realistically, it is nearly impossible for all of these relationships to stay strong throughout your life. You will meet them in different setting during different times of your life. Your interests should and probably will evolve and change over time. The person you enjoyed running track with in high school, may or may not be the same person you want to be your best man. As you become more interested in your kids soccer games, your happy hour friends may stay at the bar.

No matter what the reason for the change, you should learn something about yourself in the process and not keep any negative feelings when different people take different paths. Just as you change and grow so will these people you crossed paths with. If you are very lucky, even as you both change, you will be able to hold strong with a handful of these bonds you made over the years. And if you have any control over it, you should certainly work to make that happen. As long as you presented the real you when you met, and they did the same, it should be a mutual respect to see the paths each of you take. There should be no hard feelings but only well-wishes.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a great group of guys and girls.
Our “group” started to come together when we were 3 years old. More joined as we were in kindergarten. We went through high school and on to college together. We were a part of each others weddings, divorces, children being born, and every other milestone you can think of. Yet during all that we each moved across the country, took different paths, and continue to live very different lives. Yet we never lost touch. We reunited this past weekend (as we often try to do at least once a year) with the largest number of us in years. We brought out parents, and our kids.

Even with life taking different, and not always good, courses for each of us we keep our bond of friendship strong.

Make it a point to keep in touch with those who matter to you. The phone works both ways, the internet makes things incredibly easy. There is no excuse to lose touch unless touch wants to be lost.

Remember those people who you can be true with and remember the good times you shared.

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The first time I realized I was actually out on my own was my first year in college. I got sick with the flu thanks to the Midwest weather. I had missed classes for a couple days and Tylenol and soup just weren’t cutting it. I finally broke down and decided I needed a doctor. I happened to be talking to my parents on the phone and explained my situation. My mom chimed in and offered to make me a doctor’s appointment. The only problem was I was 3 hours from home and she had no idea of any doctor in my area. Its not that I was spoiled and incapable of completing such chores, this was just the first realization that it was all on me. I honesty don’t remember if I had the energy to find a doctor or not, but I lived nonetheless.

Years later, I have moved from college, this time much further that 3 hours away from home. I ended up on the other side of the country in an area where I had no friends and no family. So everything was new – and everything was on me. It was time to step up and grow up.

Its not that this was a treacherous experience or anything, but it just addresses the little issues in life we often times don’t think about. Our parents raise us. Their network is our network. We go to the same doctor for years. We take our car to the same mechanic because that’s what we have always done. But if you really want to fuel your independence, start a list of your own “go to” people.

I actually had a 20-minute conversation with “my butcher” today as we discussed the right cut of meat to use for my Italian beef sandwiches. That led to football, which turn led to the discovery of us being from that same area of the country and cheering for the same team. That small conversation turned a random trip to the store into a very friendly experience. I now have a connection, a “go to” person, that will give me their expertise as friend.

I’ve repeated this experience with doctors. A random pre travel exam prior to my trip to Costa Rica led to a connection with the doc. He loves Costa Rica and travels there often. I was privy to some local advice before my trip.

Mechanics are another great connection to make. I hate car trouble. I’d rather be punched in the face than have car problems. So any time I need to take my car into the shop I’m already on edge. I happened to make buddies with a local mechanic over beers at happy hour one day. His shop is very close to my house. I still hate car problems with a passion but its much less stressful knowing I can trust the person who will be doing the work.

Not only will these “go to” people make your life easier in most cases, but it will also make you a more well rounded person. You’ll be able to add some local flare to the next conversation you find yourself in.  And don’t be afraid to share your own expertise. You may end up being someone else’s “go to” person. And there is no better advertising and networking than this word-of-mouth style. It makes the world a friendlier place to do business.