I was in for a big surprise when I checked my e-mail the other day.
One of my best friends from high school announced she had just given birth to a baby girl.
The surprise? I didn’t even know she was pregnant.
With all the advances in technology these days — e-mail, inexpensive cell phones, text messaging — it’s still easy to lose touch with the people you care about.
When we graduated, my friends and I were sure we would always keep in touch. To some extent we have, but our letters and get-togethers have become sporadic over the years.
Part of that was purely geography — we scattered to the winds after graduation and our summers home were soon filled with jobs and internships.
Part of it was the natural process of growing apart as our lives went in different directions. Some of my friends stayed on the West Coast for college, while I traveled 2,500 miles east to the rolling green hills of Kentucky. Some of us were dealing with life in the dorms, while others were dealing with leases and landlords.
Add to this the general chaos of life and it’s almost inevitable that my friends and I lost touch.
The same thing happened to me when I left college. Until my last semester, it never crossed my mind that when I left Kentucky, I would rarely ever see these people again. So I promised — again — that I would keep in touch with all of them. And — again — I’ve done so very infrequently.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’m horrible at writing to people. If my Hotmail outbox were a physical object, it would probably be covered in dust and have cobwebs hanging off it. I always chalked this up to the nature of my job as a reporter: when you write for a living, it’s sometimes hard to write more in your spare time.
But that excuse stopped holding water when I moved on to the editing side of things. I eventually came to the realization that, like a lot of people out there, I tend to take my friends for granted. All relationships take some effort to make them work, and friendships are no different. For all of my excuses, how hard is it really to pick up the phone or send an e-mail every once in a while?
As sad as all this sounds, it could be a lot worse. We may not be as close as we once were, but my friends still share the milestones in their lives with me, and I do the same with them. It’s hard to imagine my giggling high school buddy as a mother now, but she is. And I didn’t waste one minute in telling her how happy I was for her.