“Out of sight, out of mind,” really could become reality...
Until recently, it had been almost five years since I last spoke with or saw somebody I, at one time, considered a really good friend.
There was no epic argument or falling out that led to this five-year social drought. Instead, it was a sad error on both of our parts that our friendship had escaped us for so long.
At the time, we both lived in Erie, Pennsylvania where we met and grew our friendship. After five years there, he and his now-wife relocated south. Several months later, I reluctantly moved back to Pittsburgh.
A barrage of personal uncertainty and new beginnings kept us from keeping in contact.
We reconnected recently only because he and another friend were in town for the night. Sitting at a bar late that night, we caught each other up on what we’ve been doing since we last spoke. Skip the last five years and it really felt as though my friend and I picked up right where we left off.
Those few hours spent reminiscing and catching up made me really consider how important friends are to me.
Simply put — I love my friends. I care deeply about them, enjoy hearing from them often, want to make and share memories with them and do my best to be as great of a friend I can be.
As important as my friends are, and as great as I think I am at being a friend, I still can’t help but wonder how I let this friendship slip by. While I’m friendly with everybody, my core group of close friends got to that point because of the mutual interests and shared camaraderie.
There’s no doubt that having great friends is an important aspect of living a good life. Friends offer us so much — a good laugh, a shoulder to cry on, somebody to share memories with, bounce ideas off of, help us through difficult times and love us in ways family and romantic interests cannot.
As much as they offer and as much as we love them, we really do seem to take friendships for granted, as was the case with my friend whom I hadn’t talked with in five years.
How often do we tell friends that, “We’ll need to get together soon,” and then weeks, months or, in some cases, years go by before we find time to meet? ‘Life’ seems to get in the way.
But, there really is no excuse for making excuses.
Regular interaction is a necessary part of our life at any stage. Not only do friends offer emotional support, they also allow our communication skills to grow, and keep us on track by offering different perspectives and being there when we need them most.
However, they can’t do any of that when we’re too busy doing everything except being with our friends.
I look at my close friends and think of how lucky I am for them to be in my life. When I moved back to Pittsburgh some five years ago, I was broke, jobless and pretty much on an early-life rebound. The only thing going for me was one friendship and the hope that eventually I’d find a job.
I found a job, and realized how important that one friend was in getting me through the process. Since then, we’ve grown our strong bond, and added more acquaintances.
We’ve shared great memories and had our fair share of disagreements. In each of those situations, we’ve been able to better understand one another.
We’re lucky because we live close by and can share in each other’s endeavors. Our careers and personal lives don’t allow us to hang out as often as I might like, but we do tend to communicate often. I’m not sure what our friendship would be like if one of us moved away.
As was the case with the friend I hadn’t seen in five years, I feared that history would repeat itself with my close friends if one of us moved away.
Whether we mean to, and no matter how strong of a friendship we have, the old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” really could become reality.
I’m pretty lucky to have the few close friends I do, and really hope to never take for granted the strong friendships I’ve cultivated over the years. It takes a lot for me to want to consider somebody a friend, but it’s well worth it.
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