I received a two-word message recently from a friend: "Coffee soon?"
We get together every few weeks and catch up. Our conversations wander through work and life, music and movies, trips and pets, wishes for the future and lessons learned. I love every one of them.
It doesn't just happen, though, and without our best efforts, it would soon be a distant memory. We don't work together, live in the same neighborhood, or share a college campus. We're not going to bump into each other.
Years ago, I thought friendships were about taking turns. I invite someone over, call, text, or send an email. Then, I wait for them to return the favor. In my mind, was a form of scoreboard and if things became too one-sided, it was a sign that I should take a break.
I remember wondering what would happen if I stopped reaching out to someone. Would I ever hear from them again? If not, is it really a friendship?
Then one day, I realized how much that was costing me, how many conversations and laughs I was missing. I realized that friendships are worth being intentional about and if that's the part I'm good at, then I will happily play it.
Now, I actually have reminders set to check in with friends near and far, as funny as that sounds. Otherwise it's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and allow the distance to grow.
Social networks have sometimes been a crutch for me, providing a sense that I was connected to people when I really wasn't. The less I use them, the more I have to deliberately seek out those conversations. I'm grateful for each one, and always eager for the next.
Message someone you haven't talked to for awhile and see if they'd like to grab coffee or talk, if they're far away. Simply letting them know you're thinking about them is worth it.
Let's reclaim the friend request.