If Only…

There are things in your past that you regret the passing of, things you would love to go back to, if only you could. It might be a job; it might be a phase or an age; it might be a place; it might be something you didn’t get enough of, or didn’t appreciate enough when you had it; it might be something you did or didn’t do, or something you said, or should have said… it might be almost anything, but most often, it is a set of things that you wish you could somehow get back.

For me, in the work sphere, I wish I could go back to the good old KF days; or even further back to my journo days. I wish I could go back to 18, when my whole life lay ahead and there were so few mistakes behind me. I wish I could go back to those activities I treasured so much – horse riding and playing in an orchestra.

But that time has passed and taken with it the opportunities it had offered.

Never mind – what passed has been replaced with things I enjoy or value almost as much (or more). The job I have now suits where I am in life. My kids make up for most of the rest. And while it’s true that 18 has been replaced with 36, at least that’s my age and not my waistline! Besides, 36 comes with its own opportunities and even if it is not 18 and never will be, it’s not really so bad.

But when it comes to people, it’s a different story. As you leave behind other little bits of your life and your self, you leave behind some people as well. Friends, neighbours, classmates, colleagues, even some family members fall by the wayside, as life propels you forward with its relentless, restless, inexorable current. And while new faces do come up to replace those left behind, people can’t “replace” other people so easily.

Of those you leave behind, not all are easily forgotten. There are some whom you knew well, whom you never forget. There are some whom you knew only briefly, whom you can spend a lifetime wondering about. There are some whom you are separated from either by circumstances or by continents, whom you never meet any more and never – or almost-never – will.

And yet, they stay with you. Maybe through an occasional exchange of email, maybe through a once-a-year phonecall, maybe through nothing more than a treasured set of memories of all-too-little time spent together… they stay with you.

If I could choose between turning back the clock to the times I wish hadn’t passed so quickly or the people I wish hadn’t gone out of my life, I know which one I’d choose. If I could have back all the jobs, activities, and youth of years ago, I might be a busy and happy person; but if I could have back all the people I wish had never gone out of my life… I’d be immeasurably richer.

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4 Responses to If Only…

  1. Prakash says:

    I recently got in touch with all my old friends thanks to Facebook! I am only looking for one person… May be FB may help…

  2. Sadia says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Facebook has been instrumental in finding some of those people. After 6 years of searching, one of my closest friends from my teenage years found me on Facebook. (She’d divorced and remarried, and I didn’t know what name to look for her with.) She was the big hole in my heart, and finding her again filled. We may only talk every month or so, now, but just knowing that she’s there is huge.

    Ironically, I suspect that my father, at least, may feel that way about me, but I’ve always made sure that he has my address, so he could reach me if he really wanted to.

  3. poupee97 says:

    Actually, I’ve been thinking about it and I realised that, while Facebook is good, it isn’t always the answer. Here’s why:

    Women are difficult to find, just because they get married and change their names. And not all women put all their names (maiden, first marriage, second marriage etc) on their Facebook IDs.

    You don’t always remember the surnames of people to begin with. I mean, school friends from 25 years ago…

    There are (still) some people on the planet who don’t actually have a Facebook account.

    Sometimes, it’s not about knowing how to contact a person or where they are – it’s about how to keep a friendship going in changed circumstances. Like, when you no longer meet everyday and it takes a lot more effort to find things to share, things important enough to make a phone call or write an email.

    Sometimes, a relationship, or at least a reunion, only works face-to-face. The Internet does have certain limitations. Even with video conferences. (Sadia, this could apply to your father.)

    And finally, in this post I was also thinking of people whom I wasn’t necessarily on ‘Facebook terms’ with, but whom I knew briefly and would have liked to get to know better, but just didn’t have the chance to.

  4. Prakash says:

    You may be surprised with the social networking capability, you find one or two people and they have classmates as friends with first name.. recently we had a school reunion and mostly thanks to FB…
    It is true that it is prevelant,more people are now connected today than last year.. It is getting popular..

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