Facebook has a funny way of making one collide with the past. It has a habit of dredging up, from the murkiness of days gone by, people who lay dormant for years, in the guise of friendship’s requests that pop up, unannounced, from time to time.
I tend to ponder them over for a few days, before either accepting or deleting, although I often feel that if somebody went to the trouble of looking you up, shouldn’t they deserve at least a polite acknowledgement?
But how do you summarize twenty years of life that might have intervened between conversations?
I did just that, a few days ago: concise paragraphs meant to convey joys, traumas, successes and failures, momentous and mindless events. What to keep and what to omit.
Three days later came the reply from the friend, the person who was actually responsible for my relocation to Los Angeles. Buried among the admissions and omissions of his life, a brief “I am proud of you” stood out. For having done what you did. For wanting to do more. For the way you faced adversity.
And, just like that, I received what I needed on a week where I had been beating myself up for not having done enough, for not having enough, for progressing too slowly.
It took a former friend, a former boss, to take a peek in to make me see again, quite clearly, that my life amounted to a series of steps, missteps, decisions, acts of courage I should be proud of. No less ordinary than any other human life but mine.
Maybe people, like books, show up when you need them to.
So…I guess…begrudgignly: thank you Facebook.