We've all had the experience of meeting up with people we haven't seen for years, where the the connection picks up immediately and the conversation flows easily. It's as if it had only been since breakfast since you last spoke. So strange and awesome. And then not so strange at all.
Last night I had that night with Lisa Levine. While we couldn't figure out exactly when it was we last saw each other - sometime between her wedding in Seattle 18 years ago and the time I left music video production 13 years ago - it had clearly been a "forever" ago. But yet we knew small certain details about each others life. I knew her husband, Eddie, had gotten gray, that she had two kids, was still a foodie and into cooking, and was still a music fan - and listening to new. (yeah!) And she knew details about me too. Those of which are escaping me at the moment. (Could have been the combination of the 5 hours spent gabbing through a meal, a walk through the West Village, another bar and many drinks.) So, how did we keep tabs on each other? Facebook, of course.
At this point in time almost everyone (well, at least 800 million of us) has a FB account and is something we include as a "must have" along with phone number, email & physical addresses. (Even if not a frequent user.) While social media has kept some people in our lives way past the expiration date, and reminded us of others we'd rather have forgotten, we also have been able to keep in touch and/or find "real friends," in ways that only a short time ago wouldn't have been possible. Ten years ago, if you moved cities, moved career/industries or just lost touch, you'd have known nothing about them and maybe not ever reconnected unless there was a reunion or you happen to have run into each other.
Although in the scheme of things, it isn't all that important that I know that Eddie got gray, but seeing his pictures and those of their kids, peripherally viewing their lives has not only made those long lost meetings more likely - and more fun, but made life richer. I'm not the most social person out there (online or off), but I know the people I like, respect and care about. And if I can be a part of their world, and them to mine, using FB or other social platforms, I'm good with that.
I do believe new friends and true, intimate connections can be made at anytime through our lives, if open to it. Having said that, I do find it rarer as we get older. But there really is nothing like picking up where you left off with people you've known for years. Of course, there is the chance that you meet up with someone from long ago and realize the only thing you have in common is the long ago. But that didn't happen last night. It was almost as if we were more connected now than we were then. It's incredible that something so "old" can feel so new and comfortable at the same time. Like pulling out an old pair of jeans that still fit. Not impossible.. But certainly rare.