I wish I were better at keeping in touch with old friends. Especially my friends from back home. But if it makes you feel any better, I'm not even good at keeping in touch with my own mother, father and brothers!
This started out as a Facebook status, but there is actually more to say about it than is recommended for a Facebook status, so hey ho, a blog post!
Sometimes while Facebook-stalking old friends, I get quite sad realising how few people I keep in touch with any more. I still send a helluva lot of Christmas cards, with my self-involved annual family newsletter enclosed, but that's really sort of the grand extent of it.
It's sad really. I have always been blessed with lots of friends, and I truly love my friends dearly. It's not hard to get into my affections, and it's not hard for me to fall in friend-love with you. But one of my fatal flaws is how easily I move on once our everyday encounters cease.
I hate that about myself.
But it's not that I stop loving my friends, just because I don't see them as much. I just don't put much effort into keeping in touch. That sounds really horrible, like I don't care, but I do. I really, really do. Unlike my marvellous friend Lorna, who can literally run herself ragged making sure she keeps in touch with the millions of friends she has (and who I secretly wish I could be like), I just don't worry much about it. I suppose I just hope that those people who really care about me as much as I care about them understand what it's like, being busy all the time and not being able to see as much of them as I'd like, and won't take it personally.
I think in reality, most people are like this, they just don't admit it. And I think a lot of people also allow themselves to get all hurt and offended when people don't keep in good contact with them. But I don't. It doesn't hurt me at all. It's just what life is like.
I still have two people I call 'my best friends back home' - Devon and Amanda. I don't talk to either of them hardly at all, except the odd Facebook comment. But when we see each other, which of course is extremely rarely, there's none of this 'Why haven't you called me/ emailed me/ written me? I'm in a huff.' We just pick up where we left off, and we enjoy seeing each other again and catching up. I love that about them.
As my original comment mentions, I don't even keep in touch with my brothers. And yet I love my brothers. I am extremely proud of my brothers and talk about them a lot like they are fantastic superheroes (and they both kinda are, in my opinion). But I don't really call them often or write them. But I hope they know I love them just the same. I'm pretty sure they do. And they don't write or call me either, so I think we all feel pretty much the same about it. I'm over here, they're over there, and we'll see each other again at some point and catch up then.
But I get sad when I think of people who I really love and who probably are (or at one point were) offended that I don't keep in contact with them. I wish I could see them all face-to-face and say sorry for that, explain that it's just what I'm like, and, I don't know, hug them or something. One guy comes to mind always when I think of this, and while I don't know for sure he was hurt that we lost touch when I moved to Scotland, I still wish I could find him, hug him and tell him every time I think of him, I still smile and remember what an amazing friend he was and that actually, I really still miss him, six years later. And we'd have a Tequila Sunrise together like old times and listen to The Faint.
And if I could see my sister- and brother-in-law in Texas I'd so the same. Maybe not with a Tequila Sunrise and The Faint but perhaps a cold beer and some Johnny Cash.
And it's the same with my family. Especially nowadays - my mom and dad are divorced now, and I wasn't great at calling regularly when they were together in the same house, let alone now trying to keep up with both of them separately. I never even got around to telling my mom that I'd changed my email address and blog address until well after the fact (and many lost emails along the way), and I never told my dad that my mobile number wasn't working for nearly a month, and poor Dad thought I was ignoring his voice mails and screening his calls.
But there's no question, at least I hope not, that I love them both to death. Just don't take it the wrong way when I don't cry when we say goodbye at the airport or I forget to call back; it isn't personal. I just have to get on with it. I'd be a rubbish ex-pat if I couldn't get on with it. I'd be miserable day in, day out, if I couldn't get on with it.
I suppose that's exactly what it is. I can't live day-to-day where I am here, with my old life always on my mind. I have had to settle here. I've had to make my home here. I have enough friends here to try to stay in touch with. It's hard enough to make sure I keep up with the loveliest of people here, like Heather, Mhairu, Pauline, and the aforementioned Lorna. After all, they are the ones I might run into at Tesco, and I don't them cross with me. (Luckily, I don't think any of them are the type to get cross; they're all busy women too.) I just don't want people to think that I'm a fair-weather friend. Because I'm not. Boy, do I love my friends and family. I'm just not that good at, I don't know, SEEING them.
In fact, I barely even see my sister-in-law who lives two streets down, and I love her to bits - I mean, I love her so much. So, see, it really is just me, not you.
Okay, so. That's the end of my wild tangle of a single, almost-passing thought. A moment on Facebook immortalised into this. And take it as a sort of mass apology, if an apology was ever needed. All sparked because I requested to be friends with a guy called Tommy on my Facebook, and I started to think of all the good times with that whole crowd of people and how much I miss them, and then I went to see if Arkansas Rockers was still around, and then I just got really sad about not seeing any of them, probably ever again, and then etc etc etc.