Whenever we revisit memory lane years down the road.. there’s inevitably this wash of nostalgia and familiarity, yet its not quite the same anymore or ever will be again. The memories and people from our time and days in school especially – the place and people we probably spent a chuck of our time with and through significant growing up moments.. then during graduation, its all teary goodbyes and ‘we have to keep in touch’ saying in that moment of overwhelmed emotions. After graduation though.. do we? No, not with everyone anyway. It’s “goodbye to most people I knew in school, hello life”. Sadly. Perhaps thankfully. To each his or her own. And then years down the road, when a chance meeting occurs or circumstances such as a reunion happens, there’s this mix sense of excitement and/or apprehension. Okay maybe with technology these days constantly updating us about the lives of people we know or knew, it kills most of the ‘not seen you in ages, I wonder how you’ve changed and look like or are doing now’ anticipation because, well.. I see photos of the changing you on Facebook/instagram and I more or less know what’s been going on in your life via your twitter updates. But perhaps that’s also when guilt seeps in because we’ve become too comfortable simply relying on social media updates. We stopped trying. Why? Because it already feels like we are keeping in touch with each other’s lives anyway and physically meeting up is not exactly a must. Until face to face moment randomly or actually happens and then suddenly all the ‘omg how’ve you been? Not seen or talked to you in ages! We so have to meet again someday’ kind of conversations start. I personally don’t like such random moments or even planned mass reunions. I honestly find it to be one of the most socially awkward situations when exchange of memories and conversations seem forced by the mere fact that people are now seeing each other face to face so obviously we have to at least say hi for the ‘we once knew each other’ familiarity and courtesy sake. Or maybe we shouldn’t since we’ve not exactly talked from the time we last met physically and.. point is, it can get bloody awkward. It’s like seeing an old flame again. A relationship we’ve moved on from. I loved you once. There’s still that lingering feeling, maybe. I still remember the good times and good things about you (or not). But its not something we can go back to again. Hi anyway (or not)? I’m not trying to be a wet blanket on reunions – be it by chance or planned. I mean, yea reunions are (supposed to be) a beautiful coming together and recollection of memories; the perfect opportunity to see the people from yesteryear again (especially the ones we might never had a chance to due to geographical distance or circumstance).. yes, its genuinely good to see you again, its nice to know you’re doing well, and I sincerely wish you all the best.. but let’s not pretend to suddenly be like high school best friends for just 10 minutes after not seeing or bothering to at least keep in touch for the past 10 years. Personally, I am not a social butterfly (believe me, I have non existent PR skills). Whenever I talk to anyone, its because I genuinely want to or have something to say to a person. Some people see it (and me) as extremely anti-social and snobbish. But I’m really just keeping it real. I’d rather have a heartfelt meaningful conversation with one or two people than superficial small talk with many. People and moments constantly change or fade away. That’s one of the most painful lessons i’ve learned in life. So while we still can, always make it special with the individuals in the moment of now because what you have or can have will not last forever, make the moment(s) count. More often than not, if its special in present reality, like really soul connecting kinda special, it will still always be special in the many years after.. because the ones and moments that actually mean the most to us, they never really ‘go or move on’ out of our lives after the last goodbye. There’s no need for ‘omg how’ve you been all these years’ reunion with them because they continue to be part of our lives even if time or distance puts a space in between. And even if things happen or people inevitably move on or out of our lives, we should try to at least store them in appreciative memory for what they’ve once taught or meant to us. We may never go back to that moment, but we should never forget. Because we’re always going to meet many people in our lives and not everyone is going to stay around or for a long time; there’s no point holding on to what is lost or gone.. but for what they once meant or the lessons they’ve taught us, even if we never get to or never say hello again.. we should be grateful and always appreciate the people and treasure the moments that happened. Because it happened. And even if never again, at least it’s like a comforting closure. To me it is.
Posted by Matthew Zachary Liu.