Thursday, May 29, 2014

Friendship

            In theory, it is such a simple concept, but in practice in can be overwhelmingly difficult.  Friendship is a shared experience—a relationship tied to the coincidence of time, space, and circumstance.  Making a new friend is perhaps the most wonderful feeling a person can have, yet maintaining a friendship can be extremely burdensome.
            I hate to admit that I’ve heard the words, “keep in touch,” far more often than I’ve contacted the people who have said them.  There are so many individuals whom I once called my friends that I’d never think to call or text.  It is so easy to take a friend for granted when you see them all the time.  I went to school with the same kids from kindergarten to eighth grade—almost half my life.  These days, I hardly ever see any of them.  We all went to different high schools, which made spending time together increasingly difficult, and now many of us are living across the country for most of the year.
In the case of many of my childhood friends, physical distance has weakened our communication.  Yet, every time I come back to Baltimore, it seems like yesterday we were playing football outside Krieger Schechter.  Some friendships really do stand the test of time and space.
            I haven’t been so lucky, however, with all of my former relationships.  For many of them, the damage done seems almost irreparable.  Changing priorities, foolish decisions, and petty arguments have turned many people whom I once considered my dearest friends into people whom I struggle to get along with, or hardly speak to at all.
There’s a girl I used to play Scrabble with.  Another I used to sit next to in Spanish class.  There’s a guy who was almost my roommate sophomore year.  Another who I ate lunch with for almost 10 years.  I ruined all these friendships.  I was either selfish, or impatient, or judgmental, or jealous.  At this point, it might be too late to save my relationships with them.  It’s depressing to think that people whose company I used to enjoy so immensely are hardly even a part of my life anymore.

In the end, it takes hard work and compromise to preserve a true friendship.  Sometimes, you have to sacrifice your own priorities to ensure that a friendship survives.  So, my advice for tonight is to call up an old friend, one forgotten and distant, and remind them that you exist.  Sometimes that’s all it takes.