This book has done something I really didn’t expect. It forced me to look at the friends I have, the amount of appreciate I give to them and the encouragement we give each other.
I have lots of friends. I attended a K-8 parochial elementary school before moving on to public high school. I was with most of the kids in my class from kindergarten through eighth grade. The core group of the class never left and didn’t change. We pretty much knew everything about each other, even if we weren’t all friendly to each other all of the time. The cliques seemed to rotate as people changed and we all grew together.
I moved on to public high school and couldn’t imagine school without the kids I had been with for the last nine years. But there I was. Faced with the challenges of being alone in a new school with virtual strangers. But I wasn’t alone. The other kids had moved on too. Some were together in different high schools. Some were not. As 14-year-old kids, we weren’t very good at mailing letters, making phone calls and juggling the homework, new environments and new friends. Many, many of us lost touch after the first few weeks.
I made friends in high school, but clearly the four-year bond wasn’t quite the same. I made even more friends in college and most of those friends are still around because we shared the same major and therefore we had a lot in common.
Through the magic of Facebook, I am able to keep in touch with my elementary friends, high school friends and my college friends, plus friends I have made through work and other avenues. While I have like 300 friends on Facebook, there are a select few who I see regularly in person, talk with on the phone and with who I play endless games of Words with Friends.
As I’ve read this book, I realize that I don’t have the ties that bind this group of friends together. At this point in my life it’s too late to build a friendship quite like that, but what I have realized is that I need to be more attentive and more nurturing of the friendships I appreciate. There is no reason why the only communication between us happens when we want to get together or someone has a life-altering change going on. There is no reason I only see some of my friends when they have baby showers and weddings.
Most importantly, it’s not acceptable that they don’t know how much I appreciate them, how much I admire them for what they do and who they are and that I want to know more about them and their every day lives.
It’s amazing I felt this way after reading a few chapters of a book!