You get it in your head that you’re the only one

Sometimes, you get it in your head that you’re the only one who feels a certain way. When you’re the one with the feelings, it’s easy to assume that no one else is in the same situation, even though you logically know that to be the case.

I do that a lot, and I’m sure others do as well. The funny thing is, whenever I’m providing advice to someone who’s feeling like they’re the only one, I point out that there are lots of other people in similar situations.

I’ve been reconnecting with old friends via Facebook this past weekend…people from my childhood. People I largely left behind after Grade 10, when I went away to boarding school. I saw some of them here or there over the next few years, but after that I lost contact. And I got it in my head that I was the only one–that everyone else still had some reasonable amount of contact, and that a group still existed.

Which isn’t the case, of course. After graduation, most of the group spread out as far or farther than I did. I just got a two-year head start on them, so I didn’t see it happen.

Over the weekend, I’ve learned that my friends from Squamish, British Columbia, have spread out a lot. One person is in Denver, while another’s in Calgary. Some have stuck around the town, and many moved to Vancouver to pursue their careers.

Some of them still see each other, and others have fallen off of the grid by accident or by design.

Over the past decade, the most important people in my life have mostly been ones I met at university. Three of my best friends were guys I met in first year. Two of them still have strong connections to their high-school friends, and I envied them those connections. My graduating class spread out far and wide, and I’ve barely talked to any of them over the years. My hometown friends were already memories. And I guess that’s why I thought I was the only one…even though I knew better.

You grow, you change, and you move on. But hopefully, you never forget who you are and where you came from.

I can’t say whether or not I’ll maintain the connections I’m reforming (though Facebook will certainly help).

But at least I’ll never again feel like I was the only one. In this instance, anyway.

And I can live with that.

Russ