I always used to hate when people would tell me “you’ll understand when you’re older.” Probably because throughout my teen years I was more like 13 going on 30, but also because it was never fun being talked down to. But as I get/got older, I realize there’s truth to it: there are some things you really don’t get until you’re older. Like how you’ll meet people from a million places and that’s amazing and you’ll travel the world together but not necessarily come “home” to the same place, state, city, town.
Like how hard it is to stay in touch. And how hard it can be to maintain and nourish a friendship. And how long-distance friendships can sometimes be even harder than long-distance relationships. Not that I’m any kind of expert in long-distance anything. Just because you do something for a long time doesn’t mean you’re automatically any good at it. But Sunday night I realized that despite my social abilities and networking skills (which I have been made fun of, but also praised for) I’m bad at staying in touch. It’s not a personal thing; I try to spend as much time as possible on my friends who don’t live in New York. But it’s hard. And post-grad made it harder.
In an effort to reconnect with one of my best friends with whom I had recently lost touch, I told her that I think graduating forces us to be introspective. To figure out what we want, where we wanna go, to plan a road map – at least, that’s what it did for this token Type A. But in the process of figuring out myself, I realized that I’ve become too absorbed in me to keep in touch with a lot of the important people I love that aren’t in a 40-minute radius of New York City. That’s a problem. Now, I can’t blame post-grad. Well, actually I can, but it’s not a sufficient excuse for letting a friendship fall by the wayside. It’s easy to get dragged into Netflix as soon as you get home – the seemingly endless supply of 30 Rock and the West Wing have become one of my most cherished post-work rituals. And I think at this point, friends get that. But there’s only so many times someone can call and get no call back. I hereby resolve to start answering my phone a little more, to texting stories that are too long to type but that are important in continuing a relationship, and to all around be a better friend. Because at the end of the day, the West Wing is only 150+ episodes. And when I’m done with them, I’d like to know I still have people to call who will discuss it with me.