Besides obvious recent events, what's got me thinking on this is that there are a lot of activities which some or many of the people with whom I once used to enjoy those events, particularly early on, have wandered off or are hard to connect with... and it's surprising how hard it's made it for me to continue enjoying those things.
Case in point: furry cons. I got into furry cons over ten years ago now, which just sorta boggles my mind, but so very many of the people I used to love going to those cons to see have either cut back or just stopped going, that I end up hanging out the the same "gang of four" that I see at every con just because they're the ones I know. Unfortunately, one of those (Vince) will not be at AC, leaving us with a gang of three; and unfortunately for Vince, I will not be at FC, putting him in the same position. Unless I do a bonzai trip (as Kerry calls them) to MFF, I will not see Vince again this year. That distresses me.
Heck, for that matter, just going to cons without Kerry is hard. :(
Another case in point: the Twitterponies. One of the long-term Twitterponies players, in fact the one who more or less made it possible for me to join and in fact with whom I did most of my playing for a long time, has cut back to the point of effectively being gone, and it's been a real punch in the gut to my enjoyment of the RP. It's not that we don't have a ton of other great players, 'cos we do and I love 'em! But there are times when I find myself thinking, without this other particular player, that the RP feels... empty.
A lot of this, I'm sure, is a side-effect of grief. My Aunt Iris, my dad, Waarhorse, now Sandy... I've had a rough year-and-a-half. :( But some of it is also just my introvert nature. While I have a ton of acquaintances that I'm quite fond of, I don't have lots and lots of friends. I have a few very close friends that I am very attached to-- probably more attached to some of them than they are to me, I might as well face-- and so every one of those who is carried away by the currents of life (or worse, is lost forever) is a real wrench for me. And it isn't easy for me to find new people I become that close to.
It's not like I have a real definable "friend-making" process... generally after a bit of time I either "click" with a person, or I don't. Sometimes I encounter someone and I get an uncanny "we've been friends forever, we just hadn't met yet" thing, and that always frightens me because I'm afraid I'm going to come on too strong or do something annoying and put them off. I spend weeks, maybe months second-guessing myself, trying not to alienate this new friend, in the ironic position of feeling all awkward precisely because I feel so at ease. Go fig! XD
Anyway, as I say, this is all just on my mind tonight, as I examine the upcoming months/year and try to figure out what I'm going to do with myself. So many things, I find myself looking at them and saying, "Yeah, but it's just not the same any more..." I have to come to grips with the fact that they aren't the same any more, they are what they are, and that's the way it's always going to be. I have to find ways to be interested in what's happening right now, and take solace in the family and friends that I've got, and stop thinking so much about how things once were, or how I wish they could be.
Which is easy to type. Not necessarily easy to do. But I'm working on it.