“It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.” - Henry Rollins
Now THAT is a heartbreaker, isn’t it? When someone you used to know every particle of becomes someone you wouldn’t really recognize. Sure, maybe you would recognize them by sight – but no longer by the way they feel or what they fear or what they want to do with their lives.
Once I was on the phone with someone I had dated in high school. When we were in high school, he wanted to be a veterinarian. As it turned out, he became a doctor of another sort. When I said something about how he had wanted to be a vet, he said "I did?" as if he didn’t even recall. In that instant, I felt like our whole earlier relationship – and what I remembered of it – minor as it had been, was called into question. I felt silly even being on the phone with him, even though I didn’t even like him in that way anymore and hadn’t for years.
Another time, only a year or two after a break-up, someone I had been in a relationship with brought me fruit pie because, as he remembered it, I loved fruit pies (e.g., apple, cherry, blueberry, etc). The funny thing is that he was right – when I was with him, I did like fruit pies, but honestly I had forgotten that about myself. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had had a slice of pies and it wasn’t at all a part of how I thought of myself. I said something about that and he looked so hurt. It was like in that instant, he realized he didn’t know the current me anymore either.
These are small examples, of course. I’m sure you can think of bigger ones either with relationship partners or friends or family members. Even though there’s a bit of pain in this, there is also something special about times when someone remembers parts of you that you may have forgotten or lost somewhere along the way. And in a way, I think that’s hopeful because sometimes we lose some of our best, most honest, committed and inspiring parts, and it’s reassuring (to me, anyway) that someone somewhere knows that we still have that potential.
[Image above by a book that I really really want to get - and you can learn more about it here.]