I woke up early this morning to grab some coffee at the beach with Becca, an old friend and long time neighbor—long time neighbor meaning we’ve literally lived next door to each other since we were six, and now we’re at the same college too.
We grew up together. We played on the trampoline after school and had sleepovers and rode our scooters around the neighborhood. We played “house” with stuffed animals and played hide and seek on summer nights with the rest of our friends. We even started our own business and went door to door selling homemade slushees when we were nine. It was pretty rad.
We never had a falling out. But since growing up and taking on new interests, we haven’t actually caught up either.
So today we sat and talked for two hours.
It’s incredible how much has changed. We laughed—a lot—but also had some really great conversations. We talked about society and race and food production and even the environment. But it was only just now that I noticed the conversation we had didn’t go as usual. It wasn’t spent gushing about our childhood or the hilarious things we did growing up. It wasn’t a quick conversation on the way to our cars from our front doors, or passing each other on campus. It was about life, now. It was about what we’ve been up to, what we’re doing soon, and what we want to do in the future. I found out the meaning of her tattoos, and how she’s writing books and practicing her photography, and that she really likes her major. I told her about my video ideas, and the project I want to start this summer, and this blog. And it’s all because we gave ourselves time to really, truly talk to one another.
Let’s be honest:
Sometimes it seems easiest to let a friendship fade because it’s just become so distant; time or circumstance is to blame. You think to yourself: “If we catch up now, we’ll talk for one or two hours and then not see each other again for like another year.” So what’s the point? Why catch up now? Especially in this day and age—why sit down and talk when you can see what they’re doing on social media? Through text? Even a letter?
It’s not just about seeing or talking.
It’s about discussion.
It’s about the back and forth, the conversation that branches from conversation, the laughter—sometimes even the tears.
It’s about life.
How beautiful and wonderful it can be because it’s always changing and flourishing.
And we get to hear about that experience for another person.
There’s something special about truly catching up with an old friend. Face-to-face. Over dinner, or tea, or coffee.
Don’t let life get in the way.
Or should I say—let life get in the way.
If you find yourself doing different things, do them. Then come back every once in a while, and talk about it.
It turns out, Becca and I have gone out into the world and have come back even more similar than we were before. And this won’t always be the case. But the point is—when you take that time to re-connect with someone who once was in your life, you find out.
You learn about the world.
And most importantly, you learn a little about theirs.