Had a nice visit yesterday after work with an old buddy from E.R. who I haven’t really been in touch with since we graduated from high school. Both our lives afterwards went on different trajectories, and it just so happens that we have landed, at present, living just a few miles apart again, and more importantly — we landed in very nearby seats at a recent Brewers game.
Chatting with Clint for a couple hours over beers was a good thing. It sort of made me realize how much we’ve changed (and probably, everyone from those days has changed) since then, going through unique paths of experience, and forming new world views around them as adults. But, at the end of the day, there are things about us personally that made us friends before, and they still remain. 32-yr-old me is drastically different from 14-yr-old me, but there must be something essential that stays the same in certain ways. Ditto for my friend. Looking forward to rekindling an old relationship whose history is strong and important to me.
Hey, I’ve got a busy week, with moving in, busting ass at work, and trying to get ready for a week-point-five road trip all at the same time. I slept in my new apartment for the first time last night, and it was good to be back in my bed. I think I sleep the best there. The bus ride on route 21 is OK; it’s definitely a little quicker than riding through downtown. I’ve been able to get a chapter or so of my book down each way.
The thing that I don’t really remember, though, is this:
If you and I are friends, how exactly did that happen? Do you remember anything about the process? I’ve come to the realization recently that the friends I have at present are so scattered, I’m coming up really short on them in the town where I live. I feel like I would benefit from getting some new ones (possibly local), but I just don’t remember how to do that.
That led me to thinking how I got the friends that I have, and a lot of you I’ve known so long, I really can’t come up with an effective means of duplicating whatever process we went through. It’s troubling.
Anyway, I already digress. What I really wanted to comment on was the ubiquity of electronic communication and how it might water down our interactions. I just shot an email off to a buddy who I haven’t seen in a while, and it was one of the longer messages I’ve written in the last several months. It had distinct points and everything. There were even a couple paragraphs with more than two sentences. We’re talking about a virtual ‘tome’ here.
What I ended up thinking as I sent that message out was: what’s more meaningful? Relationships, even a great distance apart, kept alive by a few random words day to day, or less frequent, more in-depth contact?
I have all sorts of people that I keep in pretty good touch with, but we don’t have to say much to maintain those relationships. There are others that I see or talk with less, but our contact is always positive, ending with regrets about not talking more often. Is one system superior to the other, or is this just the natural course of things? I suppose another way to frame the question is– what makes you feel better? Do you like that occasional warm-n-fuzzy you get from catching up with a friend, or do you prefer to know you’ve got people just a couple button-presses away (several times daily, if necessary)? I guess we probably all need a little of both.
I’ll have to think about it some more, but if you get a really long, thought-out message from me in the near future, you’ll know why.