Friday, January 11, 2013

Glass Houses

It's hard to see inside someone's life.   My sister-in-law made some comment about the stress free nature of our life over the holidays and I chuckled to myself. Yes, I guess it might look like that from the outside.  We have a each other, no children,  more than enough money to support our lifestyle, and a cute cat.  But we also have chronic illness, worries about job security, and the ever ticking biological clock that we may or may not want to deal with at some point.

She is cute, right? It's not my imagination?

You just can't tell about other people.  Sometimes I wish I could see past the Facebook updates, the vague blog posts that could be about anything, and the oh so limited 140 character Twitter snarks. Texting, talking on the phone, social media, and everything else that supposedly makes us more interconnected than ever does not replace the physical interactions - looking someone in the eyes to see how upset they really are, the knuckle punch of celebration when someone does something amazing, or the hug that really matters at just that right moment.

It's weird living so far away from all my friends.  It's hard to know how much contact is enough to let them know that they are important to me, so very important, but not too much to be creepy and off putting.  It's hard to read tone in email and text.  It's hard to convey earnestness.  It is a weird modern day challenge and I don't have any answers.

And it's hard when you see someone after such a long time. I visited with a friend I haven't seen since my wedding over the weekend and it was lovely, but weird. There was so much to say - illnesses, deaths, jobs, lots of life changing events - that just didn't get said unless we were face to face with one another. 

Do you keep up with long-distance friendships?  How?  What do you do to make it not weird?  How often is enough?  How often is too much? How important is it to you?

3 comments:

  1. It's hard. I've been told how good I am about checking in and sending pictures of the kids, etc. I just send messages whenever I'm thinking of the person. 80% of the time they're not responded to and that's ok. I just know my friend/family knows I'm thinking of them. And then I try really hard not to get too upset when I don't hear from them for awhile!

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  2. I've lived back and forth over the last 10 years in two places that are 800 miles apart. Some people I say good-bye to who I wish I could hold on to. It always changes.

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  3. I used to keep up with those friendships better, but when lives don't parallel anymore, sometimes it hasn't made sense to put in that effort.

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