I know I've moved around a lot and lived in several places in these five decades of my existence. But all of my life I have tried to stay in contact with friends I've made. My friends have always been important to me. It pissed my mom off when I was little. She'd say, "Your friends are ALWAYS more important to you than your family!" That wasn't quite true, but I did heavily rely on peer support.
Before internet, I was a phone-aholic. How much money did I blow blablablahing on the phone for, say, 30 years?? And how much unproductive time did I waste bitching about life instead of changing it? I was also a letter writer. I'd be in a far away place and write 25 page missives to friends or family. Jim and I wrote up our adventures, photocopied them and mailed them to a hundred friends. You meet a lot of cool people when traveling. The world really is small and your chances of meeting people again are better than you'd think. That always meant something to me. I guess attempting to be a good friend and communicator gave me a feeling of connection with the universe or something.
Post internet, I kept up with emails pretty well at first. Then I got carried away with the two years of medical report emails during Jim's deterioration and sort of lost interest in too much email ranting. I decided to cut out so much ranting from my life; let the anger and hurt go. As you can see by this RANT, I am still working on it!
So, as I whine about my friends not keeping in touch with me, I think about the emails I have received from them and answered with quick notes promising to catch up later, and then I don't. I actually realize that all the sadness I feel from this I have caused myself. Just one of those weird personality quirks I guess.
I think this is the first time I've made a move and felt so isolated from my friends (Actually Cape Verde, West Africa in 1986 was the most intense....but it was short term). I've caught up with some folks from the past on facebook, and that's been fun. But I've lost touch with too many of my close friends from my more recent past, and it makes me sad. I guess that may have something to do with today. It is Jim's birthday. (I wrote this on March 27th, and have been mulling over whether to post it since then.)
I realize that these are difficult times for everyone financially. Everyone is busting ass trying to stay afloat; it's no different here. One cultural difference is that it seems US Americans are always overbooked, in a big hurry, and super stressed out. They really don't have free time. I understand people live in a rat race and just can't keep up with everything AND everyone. One of the reasons I moved here was to learn to slow down that pace. I know I am too sensitive about missing contact with my friends. Of course more of this is my fault too, since I talked everyone into getting Skype.....I removed the speakers from my computer(to use with the TV) and my headset is broken. So now I don't have access to Skype. I am working on replacing the headset OR speakers....But I have also decided I don't care that much for talking on the phone anymore, and feel more comfortable writing my thoughts. At least I can edit them.
Another thought that rings in my head is my ex-neighbor telling me she doesn't write because she doesn't have interesting news. She said her life isn't as exciting as mine. Same shit different day. My life is not that much different from hers on a daily basis, and I can't afford to do much exciting stuff these days either. But I would still like to hear from her (them). What's going on in my old neighborhood(s) with my friends still interests me. And I enjoy the contact with friends.
I guess what I am trying to say is I understand why we lose contact with friends who have become close to us, especially when we move far away. It's just that some days, especially those that bring back memories to begin with, like Jimmy's birthday, make me too sentimental, sometimes a little homesick for Hawaii, and just a little confused. I isolate myself from my friends and family and then I feel bad that I miss them. Go figure.