People can say I’m a bit needy and outlandish; it’s not farfetched to say I agree. I think we all are, but I’m the first to admit it. In any event, over the years I’ve kept in touch with people through messaging, emails and calling people on a whim. Most people would say, “Why in the world would you waste your time?” An honest answer would have to be that I found this person interesting or they’ve helped me and I want to commemorate their impact no matter how small by keeping them in mind. I mean honestly, I’m deadly sure that we as a race think about people we’ve met in our lives throughout our days, weeks and years. We silently ponder, “I wonder how Evan’s doing!” And that’s it. We don’t act on it. But as for me, screw the status quo.
Reconnected: When Nostalgia Hits.
This past weekend, I was able to meet up with friends from 3 different circles. Two went to NEC with me (and didn’t know each other), and the other, Francis Lewis High School. I was only supposed to meet one of them, and the other two were completely by a good roll of fortune. Two were in the Frankfurt area for auditions and one is a flight attendant who happened to be there the same day I was! I had an amazing time catching up, cracking jokes and the whole nine yards. Admittedly we’re not that close, but they all have a dear place in my heart because of what we’ve been through. Even if you didn’t have any experiences, sometimes being abroad or meeting in a setting other than when you first met WILL be the experience. Sitting in cafés for coffee or walking back and forth through city streets is all valid! I personally love reconnecting. I cherish nostalgia to the point of goosebumps. Another thing is when friends of completely different circles meet. Watching them compare notes and giggle about all my idiosyncrasies is a ride especially when they share stories that the other didn’t know. In fact, a lot of the time, they bring up stories of things I’ve said and done that made them roll on the floor laughing, and I end up laughing not because I love my own jokes, but because I’ve simply forgotten that it even happened!
I grew up watching this sort of thing happen very often. My Dad is also the social butterfly type who also keeps in touch with people over the years. I’ve seen him reconnect with childhood friends on many an occasion both at home in New York or abroad. Reunions are a big thing in Indonesian culture; I kid you not. People have middle school reunions! People that have never met celebrating friendship through another person is an incredible thing to witness! I remember one particular family of former missionaries to West Papua in Indonesia. They showed up at a concert my Dad did, and the next thing we knew, we were at their house catching up!
Sending random messages of hello will change your life. Guaranteed.
People come and go. Some click with you and thus are more special than others, but even they fade out of memory. On any given month I make sure I keep in touch with a few of my cousins and close friends. Thank God for Whatsapp! Remember how older people used to carry phonebooks with them everywhere? I still see it on public transport. The amazing thing about the internet is it really doesn’t leave room for excuses.
A lot of people don’t like the “Out of the blue” approach. But people also complain about occasions like Christmas, birthdays, or holidays, in general, saying they’re stupid and they should be every day (as if that’s logical.) Here’s another way to look at it: These special days are perfect because they’re occasions where it’s culturally accepted to randomly call someone. Honestly, when someone posts on Facebook who actually remembers what day of the week your birthday was? This has definitely happened to you at some point:
“When’s your birthday?”
“It was last week. You even posted on my wall!”
Whenever I hang out with friends I hold dear and I realize I don’t know their birthday, I nonchalantly ask, and then make a note of it. Then I actually give them a personal phone call, day of. It does wonders! Give it a try! It’s the lost art of communication, which I feel millennials don’t have. This lets them know that you want to maintain a friendship despite distance and whatever else. It tells them that to you, they are special! They are worth your time!
Don’t be afraid.
Even if you need something, don’t be afraid the person’s gonna roll their eyes and say, “Wow, what a bum. He just messages people whenever he needs a favor.” It’s ok! People still want to hear from you! Sometimes it’s exactly what you need to jumpstart/restart a relationship. Many a time, relationships grow more than when you first met. The truth is we also have to learn what form of communication people prefer best as well, and sometimes even pushing the limit!
Cutting to the chase:
- Try messaging a new person once a week! See where it goes!
- Don’t be afraid, and start with people you used to be close with!
- If they don’t respond, try try again. Sometimes people read and forget!
- Phone calls are King! Skype is scheduling, but calls are random!
I remember telling my Dad once, “Why do I bother? I feel like I’m wasting my time! It was difficult to be friends in college. I don’t even know if he likes me!” Dad said, “A phone call can mean so much. You never know what impact you may be having on someone’s life and what they feel inside, and where your friendship can go after this.”
So why do I keep in touch? Friendship is damn important! It’s all about loving out loud. See how it works out, I want to hear your story!