During my last day of high school, we were passing yearbooks around and scrawling melodramatic goodbyes when a teacher glanced over my shoulder and said, “It’s so nice you all have cell phones now to stay in touch.” At the time, I remember dismissing the sentiment. Of course we’re going to stay in touch, I thought. But as I’m getting older, one thing is starting to ring truer and truer: it’s hard to stay in touch with friends. Even in the age of texting and social media. People slip away. People have babies. They get married. They move across the country. They land a job with crazy hours.
Still, some friends are just really good at it, and I try to always take note. For example…
-During her going away party, my friend Liz brought along a little notebook and asked everyone to jot down their addresses so she could send letters (from grad school in Seattle!). We passed the notebook around while drinking beers and noshing on grilled corn, and while it didn’t make the goodbye any easier, it was such a sweet sentiment.
-My friend Natalie started a “Mid Week Check In” in which every Wednesday, we text each other for updates, everything from “I’m having a shitty week,” to “DISCOVERED THE CUTEST WINE BAR LAST NIGHT.” It’s been such a nice, low-pressure way to stay in touch, and I’ve found that it’s also a way for us to check in on ourselves, the way you might when you plop down on a therapist’s couch every week and finally give yourself a second to reflect.
-My friend Sam keeps a calendar at his desk with nothing on it except his friend’s birthdays (better than Facebook!)
The other day, my mom was going through old things and found a box of letters from her close friend in Norway; they wrote each other for years (still do!). Sometimes I think the more convenient life becomes through technology and social media, they lazier we become. And it scares me! How do you stay in touch with friends? I would love to know!
“It’s called having friends, choosing each other, getting found, being fished out of the rubble. It blows you away, how this wonderful event ever happened — me in your life, you in mine.” – Anne Lamott