Friday, 12 June 2009

Looking Up the Past

The modern age of the internet means you never have to say goodbye. At least it does for me. Since I went on Facebook, I have rediscovered old friends and old enemies. I have become a cyber researcher (some might say stalker) of ex-colleagues, bosses, and boyfriends.

Here is what I found: Ex-husband has left journalism and has a 7-year-old daughter. He wrote what was hailed on one website as the perfect leaving note. I found it pretentious and self-absorbed, just like himself. And just like a lot of journalists. In what other profession do people make a big deal about writing a leaving note? My hubby didn't, and he worked in his profession for 20-plus years.

One ex-boss was sent to the journalistic equivalent of Siberia after his ego and ambition for a Pulitzer overtook his common sense. He oversaw the writing of a huge expose of a large fruit company. Unfortunately, a felony was committed by one of the reporters, a former colleague of mine, during the investigation, which negated the entire project, ruined ex-boss' career, and very nearly sent the reporter to jail. This all happened more than 10 years ago, but it's new to me. And thanks to the wonder of the internet, I can read all about it.

I found one ex-boyfriend through Facebook. I have not contacted him, but am able to admire his career from afar. He is married, has two kids, and looks VERY happy in his FB picture. His wife's name has the same first letter as my own. His two children's names start with the same letters as my two. Just mentioning.

One ex-boyfriend and ex-husband live in the same state, and actually not that far from each other. They share the same birthday. Just mentioning.

I have made contact with friends from high school and made friends with people I went to high school with but didn't know too well. My world has opened up, but also closed down. I am relighting old friendships, perhaps because some of the ones I have now are very unfulfilling. Or perhaps it's my age. As I get closer to 50, I look backward and homeward more. My children take up less of my time so I have more time. I choose to spend that time relinking with my past.

But there is also something new in my present. I have started to write for a website, Check it out if you have the time.


Flowerpot said...

It looks good - which is your piece? Good for you for getting writing again - keep at it!
(If I went on Facebook I would never get anything done which is why I've avoided it - so far!)

Anonymous said...

It must be a primeval herd instinct or something similar. We get to a certain age (I am around the same age as you) and start to look backwards and as you say, re-link with the past. That's exactly what I have been doing this past year and discovered that a lot of my old friends are doing the same!

Anonymous said...

It must be a primeval herd instinct or something similar. We get to a certain age (I am around the same age as you) and start to look backwards and as you say, re-link with the past. That's exactly what I have been doing this past year and discovered that a lot of my old friends are doing the same!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I've never joined facebook but I just might to catch up with old colleagues and uni mates. But I am a bit reticent to visit the past as sometimes it's best left alone. On the other hand, how wonderful to catch up with those folks that made me laugh my innards up because they were so funny. Hope your experience with the past is good. Great blogging material I hope.

Maternal Tales said...

I've only just found your blog - it's great - I love the way you write...just mentioning!

Facebook...hmmmm...I have a love hate relationship with it. I joined almost 2 years ago now and was completely addicted to it - I loved being able to spy on people and find out what they were doing without actually having to speak to them...But (and I suppose it's not coincidence that it's been since I started blogging) I have finally fallen out of love with it. Thankfully. I still check it every day but I don't panic if I'm away from it!! Someone said that Facebook is about people you used to know in the past and Twitter is about people you would like to know in the future. I quite liked that...

Kaycie said...

I've never been much for the past, but recently I've discovered the blog of a girl I went to high school with which has been fun. An old boyfriend contacted me not long ago, and that was actually kind of creepy. Won't be meeting up with him anytime soon.

I know what you mean about the kids taking less time. Lovely daughter has been gone for a week and the boys just aren't quite as consuming. It's very odd.

I'm off to check out your new writing spot.

Kaycie said...

So, I've just been over to the new place. Aren't you brave, publishing under your real name! Good for you.

ChrisB said...

I've just been checking out the 'powder room graffiti' I think I can work out which your article(I wasn't brave enough to leave a comment. Good luck with it.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Flowerpot: Guess! If you look at the profiles, it isn't hard to figure out. FB has started to take up too much of my time, it's true.

Dave: I think the fact that you and I don't live in our native countries might have something to do with it too. But it's a fun journey, even if it takes me back to where I started from.

MOB: The hard bit for me is when I ask people to be my friends on FB and they IGNORE me! Why? What did I do to them? Don't they know who I am? It can bring out the paranoic in me.

MAternal Tales: Welcome, and thank you for the compliment. I haven't gone on to Twitter yet. Something is keeping me from it. But I like what you say about FB and Twitter.

Kaycie: What you said about your old boyfriend is what keeps me from contacting my old boyfriends. I'd hate for them to think I'm creepy. I'm publishing under my maiden name, which is more common than my married name. So I'm not that brave.

ChrisB: Thank you. IT's been a while but I would like to do more writing.

Henry the Leaphound said...

Oh my goodness I have a bit of a habit of doing just the same. I agree I think it's to do with not living in my home country any more. It's kind of safe to look from afar - when I go home I skulk about trying not to be seen by anyone who mught know me.

I have made a consious decision not to register with Friends Reunited, Facebook, Windows Network thingy or any of the other connection websites, after spending an unhealthy amount of time looking up everybody I've ever stood next to at a bus stop the people who intrieged me the most were those who weren't listed, so I've joined them.

I also think that if you lost touch with friends it was probably never meant to be otherwise you'd never have lost touch in the first place, and as for looking up old boyfriends, well, it seems that every single one that I have found thanks to the internet is now rather overweight and bald - I was quite hard work when I was younger and it seems I've left a trail of frazzled bald men behind in my wake....