Sunday, February 11, 2007

burning bridges or losing touch?

Whenever we move on to a new chapter of our lives, we are always at one point or another advised to not "burn our bridges". But, honestly, what is that saying about us?

There's a fine line between "burning bridges" and losing touch. I'll admit, if there's one thing I was ever good at, it'd be losing touch. Hands down, no questions asked, I am the queen of not being able to keep in contact with people. And, trust me, I'm not bragging about this. It's an awful trait that I've tried time and time again to drop, unsuccessfully. There are so many people I wish I had continued to reach out to, that I never did. One day turns into two, two days turn into a week, which turns into a month, and before you know it, years have gone by. The sad part is that you never intended for it to happen - you develop relationships that are priceless, bonds that you thought would never break. Was it a waste of time? Of course not, if you could relive those moments, there would be no hesitation. The thing about losing touch though, is that you know if you ever managed to get back in touch, chances are you'd be able to resume that same friendship that you had to begin with. Sure, over the years people change, but at the core, we'll all still be the same people we were. It might be awkward at first, but over time, that same bond can redevelop. Oddly enough, the strongest bonds actually never go away. Though limited, there are those few people in your life who you can actually go for extended periods of time without contact, and the minute you begin talking to them if feels like you've never been apart. Those are the relationships you should recognize and appreciate the most. When you lose touch with someone, you never actually forget that person. They'll never disappear from your life, and there's always hope that one day you will once again make that effort to rebuild the relationship, personal or even professional, you once had.

Now, back to burning bridges. Burning bridges is when you destroy any hope for any further contact - when there is a parting on bad terms. Why would we do that? Because maybe we never cared in the first place. Sometimes people leave a job they hate so much that they could care less if they ever have anything to do with the company again. In other cases, people have enemies that they never want to have any future association with. Why, then, if our feelings of dislike are so strong, should we not burn that bridge? Again, what is that saying about us? Should we really hold onto something we feel so against? Human nature has this awful component called "selfishness". Often, we'll do anything to help ourselves. We'll forge relationships, if we know we'll benefit from them. In school, we were all told the importance of "networking". Come on, no one is that dumb. "Networking" is just a nice way of saying "using", almost synonymous with "not burning bridges." Honestly, networking events always made me feel nauseous. Watching people fake their enthusiasm, pretending to be interested, when deep down you know that they could care less. At the end of the day, for these people, all they really care about is what's in it for them. How can you feel good about yourself after pulling an act like that... unless you were in the drama school of course... Not burning a bridge is just a continuation of networking - it's just dragging on a relationship that was never there to begin with. The feeling has to be genuine to matter. If that "bridge" were real, and you built it with the intention of never letting it fall, then why the h*ll would you burn it?

I don't really know what the point of the ramblings above were. I guess I'm just tired of seeing people get used and abused. Lately I've been hearing a lot of the "don't burn your bridges" stuff, so I guess that triggered something. And frankly, whoever is reading this, if we were ever close, then let it be known, I never meant to lose touch. Hopefully, one of these days I'll get my act together and make that effort to reach out once again.

"...Stay away from me
Cause I'll be gone soon
It's just so hard to let go once we've grabbed hold
It's nothing that you've done
You're not the only one
I'm just learning to be in twenty-three places
And I'm falling off the face of the earth
Crashing into bridges I burn
And I'm falling off the face of the earth
But I'll be home soon
Is this how the story goes
When rubber meets the road
Waving goodbye is so hard without hello..."


Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

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