Why I’m a bad friend

Over the weekend two of my very close friends texted me, one of which I haven’t spoken to in more then a year. I cried a little both times when the messages came through.

I missed them, and I didn’t even know it until that moment.

How focused on my life had I been that a mere hello text would leave me in tears over these two women? Talking to them both was so refreshing and made my heart so full. Clearly, I’m a bad friend and I don’t deserve them.

I have about four decently solid friendships that I have had for more than a few years. I don’t live near any of them anymore, and I think we are starting to, or have already, drifted apart. As is expected, when we grow up, we change. These friends were those I had when I was a still just a kid. They knew kid-Jen and don’t really know me as I am today. Because even as adults, we continue to grow and evolve. I don’t have the same interests I had even just four years ago. Nor do expect them to have their same interests.

And then, how do you keep a friendship when you are so far away? I can no longer run over to your house for a glass of wine and complain about life. I can vent on a chat or through texts, sure. I could even call and get at least their tones and inflections. But it isn’t the same kind of escape we used to have with each other.

Plus, I don’t want to push the blame elsewhere; I know that I’m lazy and I just don’t try hard enough. I fully understand that is the biggest reason we’re drifting (or have drifted) apart. Adult friendships take more work and I just haven’t put the work in for these relationships. And it’s genuinely sad to think about.

Because I miss them, everyday.

And I didn’t realize it until this weekend. It’s not an overt and obvious feeling. I don’t consciously think “I miss her!” But it’s still there ever day. It’s in the feeling of loneliness when I see besties on the street or the way I relate to the girlfriends on my TV. I hear something that will remind me of an old friend and not consciously remember why it brings a smile to my face, but I know that it does. I’ll hear a song that reminds me of her and it will lift my spirits. But I don’t call. And I don’t text. I don’t even always know who’s memory it was that made me smile.

I don’t mean to be a bad friend but I can recognize that I probably am. I never know if I’m doing too much or not enough. I have always been the friend who’s broke. So when everyone is planning trips I had to either borrow money or op out of going. I’m inconsistent; I will talk to you every day for a month and then forget to reply to your text messages for the next month. I make plans and last minute I decide I just don’t want to go.

Of course it doesn’t help that I have a partner who is an introvert and he doesn’t understand my need or want for solid friendships. So I feel bad when I ditch him to hang out, anyways. (Not that it’s his fault that I’m a bad friend.)

Then something happens and it hits me like a ton of bricks falling on my heart. I haven’t called, texted or responded to messages from someone I care about. I say to myself, “Make sure to call after this shower!” But I don’t remember and another day passes and I forget once again. Then a day turns into a week and then a month and then I’m just too embarrassed to face how long I’ve forgotten. Then that awkward feeling that maybe I shouldn’t even try at all anymore takes over because I’ve ruined a good thing by losing touch.

I want my friends back!

I want to have solid relationships with people who love me. I want those moments that I had in the past again. I know that I have to make and effort to mend the time we’ve had apart. Yes, we’ve changed and I know that we live apart, now. But all those excuses I’ve made for being a bad friend have to turn into reasons why I should try even harder to be a good one.

So here is to me trying harder to call and text; trying harder to listen and pay more attention. I love you girls and I always will.

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