Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Is There Anybody Out There?

I can’t help but notice that, as of recent, my ratings have taken a dive.

If my blog were a programme in syndication I would certainly have been cancelled over the last month or so, as many of my regular readers seem to have drifted away.

Is this because I have ceased to be interesting? Is it just the time of year? Is it that blogging is now fading slightly from our consciousness or is it simply that other things are getting in the way?

And I feel like I do at work: where all but one of the people that used to make it fun have slowly but surely left for one reason or another.

Friendships can often be like that: they burn brightly for a time and you cling onto the light for all you can – just to remind yourself that you exist. And then one of you moves on and you promise that you will most definitely keep in touch…and then twelve months have passed and you’ve lost their number, or else your life is very busy and frantic right now…

When I first started work it was after a long period of unemployment and I was fortunate enough that there were two or three other people of a similar age working there. We hung out, went to nightclubs at weekends, loaned money that we really didn’t have…and one by one we all got different jobs and partners and got that bit older.

And although I still try and maintain contact with most of them it’s a one-sided battle: one never picks up the phone when I call – the other asks me questions via email and then never responds to the reply and you feel like you’re just beating your head against a wall and getting nowhere.

It’s sad to think that one of my oldest friends is someone that I have known since I was five years old, but in the last five or six of those years it always seems to have been me that made the effort: I’ve only seen his kid 2-3 times and he’s six years old now. But then families and work and problems take so much of your time and I can’t expect him to be constantly in touch – priorities change.

And I think that one of the most difficult things for anyone to accept is that we are not at the centre of our friends universes – like Buffy tells Jonathan when he goes into the tower to shoot himself: the reason no one noticed his pain was because they were too busy dealing with their own.

When you do finally pick up the phone, or drop that email, to an old friend they are usually pleased to hear from you and you can wonder “if they are so pleased to hear from me, why didn’t they call me?” Good point: answers appreciated on a postcard.

Just recently I’ve been so busy worrying about my life going nowhere and all the worries surrounding my current job that I’ve been guilty of it too – people I should have phoned or gone round to see have remained just numbers in my phone book – and you wait and you hope that maybe they’ll contact you…and you can end up feeling like you’re shouting into the void and no one is listening.

And sometimes I still miss those voices that we lost along the way: like it’s been over twelve months since A. Stageman posted on Eyes Closed, Jazzing – but I still check her site in the hope that one day…and in the hope that, wherever she is, she’s doing ok…

And then there are the days when you feel like you just can’t be bothered anymore and its time to walk away because you’re the only one whose making the effort.

So I’m setting you all some homework guys: ring (or mail) an old friend – someone who you’ve been meaning to call for a while, someone that you still care about but has somehow been pushed to the periphery of your life. Someone whose usually the first to contact you.

Remind them that you still care

Remind them that they still exist

Spread the love.


pohanginapete said...

I'm still here! Still enjoying your writing; still delighted when I see you've put up another post.

A lot of people use feed readers now, so the number of visitors to your blog will underestimate the true number of readers.

Besides, it's the quality, not the number, of readers that counts ;^)

English Rider said...

Don't despair, we're still around. Summer takes us away from our keyboards, but I still follow you and peruse your new posts. I'm not a wordzzle or music commentator, but I love the other stuff you write. I imagine your intrepid bike-explorations in my head, even though you haven't documented one for a while.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I recently started talking to someone that I was quite angry with before.

I visit when I can. Losing readers isn't always your fault. Sometimes people get caught up in things in their own life.

india said...

still here...wrestling with the time vampire...

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Pete - glad to hear it. I know what you mean, but i had hoped to make a wider point about each of us and how we lose track of what we want to do.

English - i try to vary my subjects and am a bit fed up with the wordzzles for the moment - so you can probably expect more philosphy and bike rides shortly!

Samurai - this is what i mean. You always see these old bands where one hasn't talked to another for umpteen years (lennon/mccartney, waters/gilmore) and suddenly its too late - so am glad that you have contacted this person

India - time vampire is a good way of expressing it: i like that a lot :)

Argent said...

I can identify with what you're saying here. I've been feeling some of that for a while too. I've only seen my very oldest friend (36 years' worth of friendship) once this year and I keep meaning to....aw you know how it is. Time goes faster than we think: that feeling of "a few months" is more likely to be a year or two.

Michael said...

Hmmm, summer is a good time for being busy. I have much less time for the net these days. Or I'm taking less time. Not sure what I'm busy with though.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Argent - tempus does indeed fugit!

Michael - that's just it! Sometimes we get so busy, but don't actually know what we;ve done with our time!!

Lydia said...

I'm here for the duration...whatever that means and whatever it may be. :)
Pete mentioned feed readers, something that I've found perplexing so have just decided to not mind the numbers.

With this 40th HS reunion coming up for me in a week I have been thinking lots about the issue you wrote about here. I'm having such a hard time deciding whether or not to go, and today finally emailed my friend who is on the committee and included a list of people. I wanted to know if those on that list have confirmed they'll be attending. First, it was an interesting exercise compiling the list. I was surprised that some of my childhood friends but with whom I was not close in high school wound up on my list of people I'd be most delighted to see after all these years. I honed it down to people I would really make a point of talking with if they were at the function in Reno. The list wound up being 13 people: 7 women, 6 men. My friend replied that so far 3 guys and 1 woman have confirmed yes. She said that when the reunion is over she'll send me the list with addresses, etc. of those I asked about.

With that information, I am very much closer to not attending the reunion - - but with the intent to definitely get in touch with those I care about.

the watercats said...

Well.. that's why we haven't been around!.. better late than never!..lol.. Ron's friend came over from the U.S, he hasn't seen him for 15 years, and another mate of his came over from London, he hasn't seen him for about two years.. then we've been organising travel arrangements to get Ron to London to see his new grandkid, and the other one, (who he hasn't seen in a year)... I mostly spent the time getting annhialated (sp?) and enjoyed meeting a bit of the Ronald's past.. lol, It's all good... friends are always there when it comes down to it, two months or ten years.. proper friends understand and lift off from where you left :-D

Anonymous said...

DFTP - I think this is my first visit here - I enjoyed what I read and watched the video too!

So, yes, we're out here!

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Lydia, that definately sounds like the solution for you - if you can get in touch with the ones you would want to anyway.

Watercats - glad you and The Ronald have been gainfully employed and i agree that proper friends will generally understand!

Koe - thanks for visiting and glad you enjoyed

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Ahh Mates..Mojo and Company are still here..why.. we have been drinking ale and eating cheese sandwiches waiting for a bus to take us to Crow Farm out to that Watercats Gig of three days of Peace, Love and Music..I think they
called it a KITTYPOLLZOOOA or something like that..Hey we dig your site and don't you EVER change a thing..Thanks a bunch kids!
Greetings from Sandy Eggo!
Come Visit us..lots of room! :-)