A short letter to the people I never talk to anymore:
It’s a real bummer.
I’m not very good at keeping friends for a long time, and I know it’s my fault. Sometimes I just spend all the mental energy I could be putting into long-term friendships and instead put it into, I don’t know, memorizing Star Wars planet names. One second, I’m talking to someone all the time, and then the next second I realize I haven’t heard from them in months. I’m really bad at this…
In the age of instant messaging, it should be easier than ever to keep up friendships across oceans, over many years. And I do have friends I keep in touch with, thanks to the internet. It’s just a whole lot smaller than other people, I think. For the rest, I never talk to them anymore.
After we cross that threshold of “oops we’re not actively friends,” that’s where things get real dicey. My social anxiety skyrockets, with the idea of breaking that barrier down becoming less tenable with each and every passing day. Sending a normal “Hi, how are you” to someone you haven’t spoken to in months is nerve-wracking already. It becomes a LOT harder once it’s been five years. Right? It might just be me. Probably is, honestly.
There’s a lot of friends I still think about often. People I spent years with, made precious memories with. Maybe I’ll like their Facebook posts, or ask about them through someone else. But actually sending them a message? It’s unthinkable for the anxiety-riddled portions of my brain.
It sucks! There’s an easy solution just sitting right there… and I hardly ever take it.
I always find a million reasons to avoid it. “They’re busy and they don’t need a conversation to deal with.” “I’ll probably just annoy them.” “What if they never really liked me?” And then it all spirals into a self-fulfilling loop of doubt and barrier building. Soon enough, I convince myself to ignore even the possibility of saying hi.
It’s stupid, and I’m self aware, and yet I still haven’t fixed it.
Well, that’s all a very poor explanation, but I say this all to say: If you ever ever wanna talk, you can always reach out to me… because I might not ever end up doing it myself. 🙁
Life would be easier if stuff like Before Sunset was real. It’s not, though, so let’s just try our best. In the meantime, read my blog post reflecting on a Youtube video that played a very important, very stupid part in my life.