I am not a good friend. I am not good at staying in touch. In some ways the people of my past stay fixed in that past. They exist for me as only memories of that era. I rarely bring those people forward with me. This is one of the reasons the whole idea of Facebook, of going public, makes me a little nervous.
In some ways I think I'm afraid of worlds colliding. The man I am today doesn't necessarily jive with who I have been in the past. Maybe I'm embarrassed now of who I once was, or maybe I'm embarrassed of who I am now from the perspective of who I once was.
I am 'the man' now. I work a 9-to-5, I'm married, and I have kids. Heck, I even live in the suburbs. I'm not the rebel I once was, sure, but I'm not nearly as miserable as I used to be. In fact, I am quite happy.
There are risks in reconnecting, but it is not like I've been in hiding. I've been writing a blog for something like four years. A Google search will find me pretty quickly. Actually reaching out to people, as Facebook creatively requires, risks bringing up all of those things from the past, all of those traumas and dramas. There is a lot in my past that I'd rather not revisit, no matter how I feel about the people involved.
Who I am today, though, is a result of all that happened before. I may now be an MBA candidate, but I also have an MFA in Creative Writing. I may have a good job in corporate finance, but I also finished writing a novel (still unpublished and not even yet submitted) last summer. I may spend what little free time I have playing with my children, but I also spent years drinking too much and playing in bands. I may be happily married now, but I spent years either pining or having my heart broken by women.
I am venturing forward into a strange virtual world of social networking and at the same time I am venturing into my own past, opening up boxes that had been closed and tucked away. Maybe now, today, I can be a good friend--at least, virtually.