October 30, 2007

That Was Yesterday

I got an unexpected birthday present yesterday – a call from an old friend. The last time I talked with him was 15 years ago, yet it took less than 5 minutes to connect again. I have a hand full of friends from my college days that are like brothers and sisters to me. My friend who called yesterday is one of those few people.

If you’re lucky, at some point in life you’re able to really connect with others in an extraordinary way. It takes time, an enormous investment of time, to put yourself in a position to reach this pinnacle of friendship. So it makes sense, I think, for people that find these “100% guard down” friendships to find them during their high school or college years. For me it was during my college years and when this time in my life ended, I don’t think I was ready for it and it rocked me emotionally.

I think this type of friendship is rarely found later in life. The milestones of marriage and parenting make it next to impossible to invest the time necessary to build new extraordinary friendships, let alone continue those rare friendships from the past. I don’t think this should stop us from pursuing meaningful relationships, we just have to recognize that the time investment is a lot more difficult and be careful not to screw up more important priorities in our lives.

As I reflect on yesterday’s phone call, I think the best thing about college was the true sense of living in community. That is very difficult – perhaps impossible – to sustain or reconstruct later in life. At the same time, I realize how fortunate and blessed I was to have found the right people and to have experienced that time in my life.

There is a special connection with these people and I was reminded of that during my phone call yesterday. It also showed me, and not for the first time, that once these connections are established, they run so deep and are so meaningful that even after years, they just don’t go away.

So here are some questions that I hope will provoke some discussion/comments:

As we grow older, are we are becoming more private people, keeping more to ourselves and becoming less social? Is this just the normal pattern of life? Does being good at our jobs, good parents, and good spouses consume us? What are you doing to stay connected with those rare friends in your life?

“That was yesterday
I had the world in my hands
But its not the end of my world
Just a slight change of plans

That was yesterday
But today life goes on
No more hiding in yesterday
Cause yesterdays gone

That was yesterday
Love was torn from my hands
But its not the end of my world
Just a little hard to understand

Goodbye yesterday
Now its over and done
Still I hope somewhere deep in your heart
Yesterday will live on”

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Good Folks Life



October 30, 2007



Comments (10)

  • dorsey October 30, 2007 

    Good post, Doug. I know what you mean. I went to homecoming a couple years ago and reconnected with people I hadn’t seen in 20 years. It was as if we had never parted. Amazing. To answer your question, for me, it’s the opposite. I spent the first fifteen years or so working and focusing on things here. But, although we always kept in touch by phone, my friends and I now have a deeper determination (and the cash) to see each other more. Personally, I have come to value (and be astounded by) the depth of those relationships more now than previously.

    In three weeks, I’m flying to Indianapolis. My best friend from EC, Parrish, is coming down from Detroit. We’ll spend the weekend with another dear EC pal of ours. We did it last November, and had such a great time, we’ve decided to make it tradition.

  • Ausbury October 30, 2007 

    Dorsey, that is great! So just the guys, or do you all include the families? I think the latter is really tough on the fam, since the same connection doesn’t exist for them….in fact, I’m sure it can be quite baffling to them.

  • KC October 30, 2007 

    Friends will always be part of my story. The Evangel friends are still the best, that’s impossible to change…but others have come along and are important too. For John’s sanity, we had to make more friends as a couple so he was part of the picture…not an outsider looking in.

    I have been hugley blessed to have my friend, Gina (Martin) VanCeylon with me for the last 20+ years here in Texas. (and hubby Chris) I’ll miss her coming over, like she did yesterday…just flopping on my sofa and catching up..watching my puppy jump in her lap for a lick attack. Now we have to move to the intentional part of our friendship. The pick-up-the-phone-more-often, plan-a-vacation-to-see, kind of friendship. Syracuse is a long way from Texas…but not too far for a friend.

    I wouldn’t say I’m less social now, I just know my limits. I don’t know that I want to spend another 20 years building another friendship when I already feel like my life is full – full of family that I want to suck up every second with as they get older, and friends – the coolest friends.

    The Evangel reunion was great this month for the B1S girls only because we were intentional about it…keeping each other accountable to be there and including our families so we could make new memories together. Yes, the husbands about died by Saturday from “remember whens” but they made through and if asked, had a good time too.

    So when do the Carliles go to a family camp with the Brechtels, or do a spades tournament weekend with the Longs, or take John to his first real concert with the Ausburys? We’re overdue for some fresh memories.

  • dorsey October 31, 2007 

    Our families are well acquainted, but you’re right. They probably couldn’t tolerate us together to the degree that we can. So we do families on occasion, but more often than not, it’s just us…

    …and a voodoo doll of Thurman VanZant.

  • jefe October 31, 2007 

    I’ve found it difficult to maintain any close friendships from college. I do stay in touch with 1 or 2. But even those, with the busyness of life, make it difficult to get together more than once every couple of months on the phone. But even after almost 20 years, we just pick up where we left off…

    What I’ve found is that, as I’ve entered into marriage & parenthood, I have made a whole new crop of friends… a couple of, with whom there are no walls. I think for me, a big part of that is the fact that we’re all in the same place in life.

    For me, college is a great memory. And when I have the chance to catch up, it’s always fun. But at the same time, that feels like a different life to me. I think I was a different person. Not to mention the fact that a good majority of my college friends were girls… who eventually became dates… who eventually became short-termed relationships… who eventually became “ex’s”… who are probably STILL not speaking to me. (so that may be part of the problem)

    Still, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve inadvertently become a lot closer with my family. I find my greatest joy sharing time with those with whom I am most closely related. That’s pretty special.

    Still– if you guys ever want to meet at Ebbets Field & party, I’m in! (If its still there)

  • jeff November 6, 2007 

    Dude! I just got an email with a virtual tour of the EC campus. I haven’t seen it since 1989… Dang!

  • Ausbury November 6, 2007 

    Jeff, i need to see that. can you forward it to me – doug@ausbury.com ?

  • KC November 6, 2007 

    There’s only ONE barrack left standing. I wish they’d keep it…like a giant time capsule. The joust is gone…it’s moved into the student union buliding…no rod iron weaponry decor anywhere. Don’t get me wrong…it all looks great…just lacking the “character” we enjoyed before. I did see a security cushman still on campus, parked next to a security SUV. The dorms looked pretty much the same. I blew a kiss to Krause hall for all my Brethren brothers.

  • JB November 13, 2007 

    Don’t know if I ever mentioned, but my niece is a soph at EC, oops,…EU this year. Yep, another Brechtel learning all truth is God’s truth. Got an email from her last week and she loves it. Kristy, I think she’s in Burgess, not sure what floor. I’ve been listening to the Rippingtons 20th anniversary album while working on some spreadsheets,…thinkin’ about that night at the caravan of dreams in Ft. Worth! Those really were good times! No update Doug, I’ll keep you posted though,…pinky promise!

  • Hey it's Mike "Bowers" December 10, 2007 

    Hey Doug, it’s Mike….Bowers. (LOL) Call me sometime. We live in Dallas now. (972) 800.9824

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