...is not always the same.
POLYGESTALT COMPARES THEN AND NOW.
I've been thinking lately about my friend s1m0n. A lot of people reading this blog don't have any of the back history. So, here's the nutshell.
We met each other on a local multi-phone-line BBS called Foundation Earth around 1992. I had just recently moved back in to live with my parents from a stint away in college. BBS's were an important social networking node for me as I had no local friends in the city where my parents retired. We played role-playing games (RPGs) both online and in person. (Back in the day when an online RPG meant either just writing text stories or playing on a MUD -- we were the text-writing sorts.)
Back then, s1m0n was known more for his creativity than his business acumen. Although, sometimes distracted by rules ("Read the docs!") or character nuance ("Newton's hair is not blue!"), s1m0n was (and still is) one of the best storytellers I know when he puts his mind to it. Couple that with a flair for drawing and I totally thought he was going to write comic books or go down a much more creative path.
But ya know, we all change. While he was always a very motivated person, within the first few years that I knew him, he kicked his ambition into high gear. His priorities shifted and he began to devote more of his energy into both business development and computers. He became a father -- anyone who has gone through that knows that certainly shifts your priorities even further. (As I'm also a father, I totally understand.)
Over the period from 1997 to 2007, s1m0n and I saw each other less and less -- to the lowest point which was seeing each other once or twice a year even though we lived in the same city. His last wife's "no friends" insecurity mandate was most of the reason for the last few years of that.
Then in 2007, he and my wife developed a deeper bond and suddenly he was slammed back into my life in a full time capacity unprecedented in our relationship. I was seeing him all the time, but doubts abounded. How much of his desire to be here was my wife and how much was his friendship with me? Without crawling into his brain, I doubt there's a way to really evaluate that, but I came to accept the situation as a positive one.
So, how are things now? Well, although I see him on a daily basis now, I'm not sure just how close we are. I guess it fluxuates. Most of the time, I'm glad to have a great metamor that handles his life responsibly and treats my wife with the love and respect she deserves. Sometimes, I feel like there is something between us that bends the friendship from feeling completely comfortable -- a princess and the pea kind of feeling. I'm not sure how much of that feeling is just simply having to live with a partner that I'm not romantically attached to and sharing life responsibilities with. And how much is some mild sense of lingering rivalry over our shared womanly resource.
Things are just different.