We all have people from our past. I read in an article that humans can actively manage about 150 relationships. 150 is a huge amount but think about how many people have amassed in your database of relationships throughout the years. I had 150 people in my graduating class. In college I was in a fraternity of around 150. I studied abroad with a group of around 50. When I joined Teach for America in Las Vegas I bonded with another 50. Add to that mess the whole Six Degrees of Seperation Theory and, well, you get the idea. In our lifetimes we will “know” a ton of people.
It always fascinates me the people that stick around for the long haul. If we whizzed back in time to high school I’m sure I could confidently tell you the people I would still be in touch with eight years down the road. You could look High School Me in the eye and tell me I was wrong and I would laugh in your face. I’m sure I would deliver an “I know who my friends are! We are going to be best friends forever..” speech.
Fact of the matter is, people come and go out of our lives and as much as I try to see the universe’s logic behind it all, there doesn’t seem to be a set equation. The friends you find yourself adventuring with one year could slowly fall away from you another year.
This brings me to the point of my post. I have always had a serious case of Chronic Avoidance of People from your Past Syndrome (CAPPS). I have been known to hide under tables when faced with a long lost friend. I have ran the other direction at the site of a familiar face, stuck my head in a box of cereal at the grocery store, and picked up my phone to answer a fake phone call. All of these are classic signs of CAPPS. The dawning of a new year always has me contemplating life, what it all means, and how I’m staying happy. This brought me to the question:
If people from our past pop up randomly one day, is there a chance they’re supposed to weave their way back into our life?
And equally important, if people we keep dragging back into our life have a track record of disappearing, should we write them out of our next life chapter? (Despite how important they may seem to us?)
Random thoughts on these questions… When I lived in Vegas I would find myself out at clubs frequently. I saw a college acquaintance at said clubs MULTIPLE times, despite the fact that I knew he still lived in Colorado. I saw him walking around a hotel, dancing at XS, and ordering a drink at Jet. To put this in perspective: 37,335,436 people visit Las Vegas each year. Vegas clubs have a capacity of 3,000 people each night in operation. Las Vegas is home to 20 of the 30 largest hotels in the United States and each of these hotels has at least 4 clubs/bars. And I saw that same ghost from my past THREE TIMES. THREE TIMES. Coincidence?
I think the second question points to a different, yet very related phenomenon. Let’s call it Chronic Loyalty to Amazing People who Ignore You Often (CLAPIYO). You may be wondering what people I could be referring to. I’m talking about the people we keep trying to drag back into our lives. You know, the ones we call to catch up with 1,000 times even though they never return the favor…The people who make you feel a little ick inside yet you can’t explain why. You know you are suffering from CLAPIYO if these people wouldn’t dream of calling you like you so diligently call them. I always feel guilty about these people. “Oh, I haven’t talked to so-and-so in forever. I better call them and see what they are up to. I should try to set up a time for us to get together.”
So you do.
And it flops.
And you try again.
And it flops harder.
It goes straight to voicemail.
Have you ever thought this is the universe’s way of telling you to Move the f-on!
Maybe it’s 2012 that has me feeling feisty but I am done with this cat and mouse game. I am done hiding under tables to avoid people that somehow have crept back into my universe and I am done force communicating with people who don’t seem to give me the time of day.
WHEW. That felt good.