I don’t think I could function without friends. Some people say they’re the family you can choose and I suppose that’s true on some levels but really, they’re just the people you enjoy being with. The more you can share with them, the closer you tend to be. Friends are the ones who understand where you’re coming from when you say something that makes others just give you a funny look. Friends are the ones you want to spend all your time talking to and spending your time with and that’s what sucks about having most of your friends live too far away to just pop round and say hi.
I mean, even my school friends don’t live particularly close. A half hour drive isn’t close enough to just go ‘hey! I know! I’ll pop round to so-and-so’s and see if they’re in.’ NO! You have to go ring them up and check they’re in to make the journey worth it which totally spoils the surprise. Plus, until I pass my driving test, I have to either catch a bus (which where I live seem to run only every hour) or bug my parents to take me.
However, the thing that sucks the most is that most of my closest friends live miles away. All the amazing friends that I’ve made on various Christian camps I’ve been on are the ones that I love spending time with and the ones I trust the most. (No offence school friends.) They’re the ones who understand how important my Christian faith is in my life and they’re the ones I can talk about it with, whether it is problems I’m having or amazing things God has done. Yet it’s not the same talking to them over the internet or by text. Long distance friendships are hard and it’s even harder when the best friends you have are the ones that live too far away to visit without some long, thought out plan of when and how you’re going to meet up.
It’s even more frustrating when you meet friends like Josh who I met at Roothill. He’s one of the few friends that I can talk with about the two big sides of me: the Christian side, and the nerd side. Sure, I have some great Christian friends and sure, I have friends that I can indulge in my nerdiness with but, in the words of Josh, to have a Christian Nerdfighter (or at least apprentice Nerdfighter) friend is ‘most excellent’. Except, Josh is also one of those friends who lives too far away to just ‘pop round’ and when he goes back to university he’ll be even further away.
Also, I’m rubbish at keeping in contact with people. Anyone who’s got me added on msn or Facebook chat, or has even ever given me their mobile number, knows I’m pretty rubbish at making an effort to keep in contact. It’s not that I don’t want to talk to my friends, definitely not, but textual communication is just not the same and, I’m embarrassed to say this, but, I have a slight irrational fear of phoning people. You’ll be pleased to know it’s getting better but it still tends to make me think twice about calling someone up without a specific purpose. I so easily lose contact with friends if they don’t initiate communication themselves and make me talk to them! In some ways, I blame the internet. While making talking to my long distance friends easier, at the same times it has made it harder. It makes me think, ‘oh, I could say hi to them tomorrow, no need to do it right now’ and it’s been a month or two since I last spoke to them before I even know it.
I do have some friends who live closer. The occasional few who live in the same town as me but I’m no better at keeping in contact with them either. If I don’t have school or church to make sure I see them, I have to organise something myself. I’m not good at doing that and I realise I could have popped round to visit them at the end of a day that I’ve just whittled away reading or Youtubing. I am terrible at making a conscious effort to see people and for that I apologise profusely to my friends.
I also think life would be better if people sent each other letters more often. So much more thought goes into a letter than it does a text or even an email but it saddens me how few of my friends addresses I actually know. I’d love to be able to send them letters and it would be just as awesome if they sent one back. Recently, the majority of my post has been from universities. (St George’s University, Grenada, West Indies, has a particular obsession but I don’t fancy going there because then I wouldn’t even be able to pop to London for a camp reunion. Plus are there any Nerdfighters there?) However, it would be much nicer if even one of those letters was instead from a friend. Although, I have an idea: if you concider me your friend, send me an email with your address and I promise I’ll send you a letter. I guess that’s the only way to start this! Even if you think I have it anyway, send it to me and I’ll try and revolutionise the way we talk. Sure, it won’t replace the internet but if you’ve ever received a letter from a friend in the post you’ll know what I’m on about.
You see, I love my friends but I’m terrible at showing them that. I feel like I ignore them and never talk to them. So, friends, I am sorry; Very sorry. I’ll try and make more effort to talk to you but I need your help.
“So long, and thanks for all the fish.”