Do you ever think about how many people have come and gone in your life?
A while back there was some workplace drama among my young colleagues. One of the girls was telling me all about how her friendship with a fellow co-worker just was not going to work out. She was sad about it, but she also seemed to be resolute. It was interesting to notice how mature she was acting over the whole mess.
Naturally, as I often do, I immediately compared myself to her. Not in that moment, but I mean I compared my younger self to her present self. When I was her age, the thought of giving up a friendship would have left me distraught.
Luckily, I am not her age any longer. I mean, it was fine back then. I had more time back then. But since then I’ve learned so much about people. I’ve learned so much about myself. Part of that learning process has been to recognize when to let things go. Specifically, when to let friendships go.
I think about it kind of a lot, I guess. Especially now that I’ve moved states a couple of times and met a lot of new people. Sometimes things don’t work out, and relationships don’t stick. People come and go all the time.
It’s always funny to me when someone says goodbye to me, and they mention something about staying in touch. And I don’t mean a “goodbye for now” type of deal. I mean the “goodbye forever” feeling that creeps up when you’re convinced that you’ll actually never talk to that person again. It took me a long time to learn that one.
I’m sure the intention is good. We spend time with people, connecting and forming something that at first glance looks meaningful. Then we go our separate ways, time passes, and that connection breaks. Not always! It doesn’t always happen that way. But in my experience, that’s what happens 9 times out of 10. And then… what was the point?
With this thought in mind, I tried to come up with a way to preserve the connections I make with people.
I randomly bought a little black journal one day, without really having a plan for it (I’m sort of obsessed with notebooks and journals). It struck me, after spending some time with the aforementioned co-worker, that I wanted her to write in this blank journal. I didn’t care so much about what she wrote, I just thought it would be cool to have a sample of her thoughts.
So, I dubbed this little black journal my Collective Journal.
My goal is to offer it to the people I connect with, to the friends I make, and to collect their thoughts. Because I know my time with these people won’t last. I’m going to move away, or they’re going to move away, and then the same pattern of never speaking to each other again is going to repeat itself.
BUT. Now I can take this little sampling of their thoughts with me. In my eyes, being able to look back and remember these people through their written words is a great way to preserve those connections.
People will come and go. It’s just the way it is.
Hopefully, we can make it read like time well spent.