One of the larger differences I have noticed since I switched jobs is how my friendship quotient seems to have dropped a great deal.
The good thing about working with one's friends...is, well, you work with your friends. You get to spend 8+ hours a day in the company of people you actually enjoy. Work becomes, if not a little easier, at least a little more enjoyable.
It all holds together, of course, until you leave that job. Then, just like countless other times in school or college, you get busy and they get busy and suddenly there is a gap which usually keeps expanding. What is annoying and a little concerning is that I find that this gap has expanded to encompass larger portions of my life.
Some of it is due to distance, some to activities that meet only certain times of the year. The outcome has been the same – in some ways, I have not felt this lack of deep friendships in some time.
Oddly enough, I am “friended” up on a certain social network site. Which is nice - I actually probably know more people than I ever have and probably interact with more folks than I have in many years. But that deep level of friendship, those hours of conversations, those shared experiences and stories – all lacking at the moment.
A fair amount involves me, I am sure. Just with work and family, I have become as inaccessible as I may have ever been, which matters for friendship. And I certainly respect (now more than ever) the boundaries of others with their families and their work and their own lives. But the margins seem increasingly thin looking forward.
I would like to say I believe this will change but I am unsure how, given that I do not see the catalyst for that change: I will continue to work where I work and have the hours that I have and have the family I have with things wedged in at the edges. Given that, where does such a thing pop up?