Saturday, June 18, 2011


For a long time, I have been thinking about the word friend and it's various connotations and implications. How is it that some friendships seem to bloom and continue to bloom with very little effort and others don't flower at all, despite the massive amount of work put into them? What does it mean to be a friend?
Psychologists say that a certain amount of friendship is determined by proximity, but my long distance friendships are strangely some of my easiest friendships to manage. Being so far away, I only get to see some of my Muhlenberg girls once or twice a year for a couple of hours; (sure we email or call sometimes and of course there is facebook and a blog or two to help keep us connected) you would think that those encounters would be awkward, but in fact just the opposite is true. We all somehow pick up right where we left off and it's like we have never been apart. No matter how long or short our time, we are able to laugh and talk about the major stuff happening in our lives. Maybe the limited time helps us to get down to the essentials so much more quickly instead of staying on the surface. The same is true for my Milford/Matamoras/Penn State friends- now that I'm in TX, the only time I get to see them once a year on our annual rafting trip. These friends mean so much to me that I schedule my summer visit to the East Coast around our rafting adventures! Sure, the group has changed as various members have gotten married or had kids or whatever, but our core is still there and it is wonderfully effortless and joyful to be with these people!
Perhaps long-distance friendships are in some ways easier, because you aren't around each other all the time; you aren't exposed to the daily contact that can sometimes cause hurt feelings, friction and tension among friends.
Despite my incredibly social nature, I will admit that sometimes it is very difficult for me to be a good friend. Being a type-A perfectionist, it is very easy for me to stress about all the things I need to get done and to put my to-do list ahead of my friends. To help combat this, I have started adding friends to my list and I put appointments with reminders in the calendar on my phone so that I remember to call them or email them or to meet with them face to face. If I have ever hurt you because I have not made time for you- I am sincerely sorry. It was not intentional. Please let me know so that I may apologize in person and we can move past things and become friends again.