Somebody That I Used to Know

  While the military life has been extraordinarily good to us, it does have one major downfall and that is the never ending good-byes. It starts as soon as you become part of the military family and it's something that you have to face over and over again.

First, you say good-bye to your family and lifelong friends, not knowing when you will see them again.     You go from seeing your family all the time to once or twice a year, if you're lucky. Those friends you've known since elementary school? You try to squeeze in visits but it gets harder and harder each time you come home.

And though that never gets easier, you do eventually become a little more accustomed to it. You build up a life wherever the Marine Corps has sent you. You make new friends. Amazing friends. People that you don't go a day without talking to. Eventually they are your family too and it's impossible to imagine not having them in your life.

And just when you are settled and comfortable, it's time to move on to your next duty station. It's time, once again, to say good-bye to people that you love.

Of course, you promise that you will keep in touch. You'll Skype and email. You will do whatever it takes but you will NOT let these special friendships fizzle.

Then life gets in the way and the Skype dates are non-existent. The emails are few and far between. And while the distance technically stays the same, in many ways, it also grows.

And suddenly, those people that were your very best friends have become just another person on Facebook. The only way you know what's going on with them is through status updates and the occasional picture.  Eventually so much time passes that you don't even know how or where to begin to get back to the friendship you once had.

The blame lies mostly on you. You did very little to keep the friendships going. Many times it was out of busyness, but sometimes it was out of shear laziness. Just like anything else that is worthwhile, maintaining long distance friendships takes real work and you didn't put enough in.

Despite moving on and making new friends, there's this constant nagging that you should do something. Reach out. Build those friendships back up. Be there for those friends even if they are so, so far away.

But you don't- because you wonder if it's just...too late.

And each day you think about those people that have seen you laugh and seen you cry. The ones who have cheered you on at your very best and picked you up at your absolute worst. And you wonder. How did someone that was once so special to me become just somebody that I used to know?

Krissy said...

Well said, Tami. Miss you!

Traci said...

I think this applies to everyone. I can think of some good friends that live very close to me still and we don't talk or see each othe either...mostly due to laziness. Sure we are all busy with life stuff now but we could make time if it really mattered.

Jessica K said...

Wow, very well spoken Tami! I have to agree with you in every way!

Paula Lynch said...

Makes me think. I have some friends I need to get in touch with. Love you.

Mateya said...

This is so true in every day life! I have so many friends from high school and college that I think about often and it makes me so sad that we've lost touch!

Beth Ann said...

Nicely written. Such is life...ever changing. I am blessed to have a few friends that I keep close contact with...but I know as the years progress and more kiddos are added amongst us and moves occur...it will get more difficult.

Mandy said...

This post is so true....except in our case b/c no matter how much time goes by between phone chats and/or visits we pick right back up where we left off. I think we've proven that no matter where the military takes you guys- we are always going to be besties!! :)

Megan said...

This is beautifully written! My husband and I are only 3 months into his first overseas work assignment (not military though), and I feel like I can already, or at least will soon identify with this. I've met more amazing people in these short few months who have already become fast friends, supporters, and encouragers- among other things. These types of environments really seem to lend themselves to fast, close friends. Everyone has been the "new person" at some point, so everyone is so welcoming and supportive. There is a certain understanding in sharing this experience that even your closest friends and family "back home" cannot fully understand. However, I've already started wondering what these friendships will look like as people come and go in the future. As we are beginning to realize that this will very likely be the first of many overseas assignments, reading your post really made me think. Thank you for such honest writing. I look forward to continuing to read about your experience and reflections on these topics!

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