Over the last few months one of the things I have noticed about my life with its change into a new position is that my circle of friends has drastically lessened.
It is a bit odd, this thing called work. Spend enough time at a position and the people you work with end up becoming your friends, simply because of the amount of time you spend with them: year after year, brick after brick slabbed on until you have a wall you have built with others. But then one or the other leaves, and suddenly the proximity is completely gone.
I suppose it is no-one's fault, of course: we live in a busy age and for the most part there is always something that is there to take up the space. But it is an odd feeling, after so many years of a daily routine and daily interactions, to find one's self isolated. Alone, as it were.
My circle has shrunk more drastically than I had anticipated. Beyond the immediate circle of my family and a much reduced group of coworkers (small company), I physically see a handful of people. My iai dojo. The regulars at the rabbit shelter. My church group. Even my throwing friends. But all of these are for short periods of time only.
Isolation sometimes feel like being put on a shelf - and forgotten. And while I do not fancy myself a people sort of person, it is surprising how the lack of meaningful emotional interaction makes one feel reduced.
And then I realized - most of my friends are invisible.
Well, not quite invisible - but certainly not present. I talk to them almost every day. It is just that they are not in my physical line of sight.
You all, of course - those who read and those who comment. The folk on whose blogs I comment. Even the friends I have made - some surprisingly good ones - on something as trendy as Facebook.
We talk about important things, We laugh. Sometimes we mock in a kind way. And we support where necessary and coach where needed.
I realized my life is full of people. Just people that I for the most part do not and may never actually see.
Perhaps the concept of "imaginary friends" was more trend setting than we realized.