I was having beers with a buddy the other day. We used to party together all the time, and it’s always fun to relive the glory days, reminiscing of better, more carefree times. Beers became dinner, as I had some leftover chili (I have a mean chili game), and we ended up having an impromptu hangout session for four hours.
He works in the same building as me, yet we rarely see each other. We both still live in the same town, yet finding a time to do anything is damn near impossible.
As we get older, more variables come into play. My buddy that got married and made me his best man? Lucky to see him once a year after his daughter was born. It’s like high school again: everyone moved away, and keeping contact ranges from a walk down the hallway to a six hour car ride. People get girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands, planned and unplanned kids, or some just drop off the face of the earth. This happenstance has me in a rut.
In my friend group, I always plan everything, from bachelor party ideas, to tailgates, to where people stay when they come in to visit. It is tasking at times but very rewarding. Reeling people in is a life skill that everyone should cultivate.You ever meet people that always say, “Hey, we should catch up!” but never call, text or respond? I hate them. I’m the one that always calls people. I’m always on time, and for good reason.
Back in college, I could open my door and see five friends. At any given hour, someone was awake, ready to drink beers, play vidjya games or smoke pot together and hang out. Some of the best nights were spent in a room, passing around a bottle of Evan Williams, drinking 40s, smoking a bowl and watching Grandma’s Boy while talking about life, ambitions and the future of the girl you dated that is now three girls since. Everything was new, the world wasn’t sullied yet, and those jobs that we now realize require a PhD, 10 years of experience and a tour with Peace Corp making 75k out of college seemed plausible.
In postgrad life, time is a valuable commodity. Going to the gym, grocery shopping, laundry, paying bills, taking care of the apartment/house/townhouse/compound all takes time. It’s also easy to lose track of time. I lost track of how many times I’d look up at the clock and then realize its 10:00 p.m. I can’t imagine what people with children or those on the prowl for a girlfriend or boyfriend do because I’m already stretched thin with my time. Being a young professional these days is all about time management but it is something that has to be constantly kept in line or else all the wheels fall off.
It’s also not getting any easier. Next time you go out, look around the room. Everyone is on their damn phones, updating all their outlets and maintaining this façade of a self. Does it really count as going to the gym if you didn’t check in? These days, when I do happen to see people, they inform me “I saw on your Facebook you went to homecoming last weekend, great pictures.” We’ve come to the point where we talk about pictures more than anything of substance and I hate it.
Remember the opening scenes of Crash? I love quotes, and this one has always stuck with me, “I think we miss that touch so much, that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.”
I miss seeing my friends on a regular basis. I know the lack of communication is a casualty to time, to obligations, to the bullshit that is adulthood. I’m always of the mindset if you’re thinking about someone, give them a call. Invite them over for a party or to just catch up. It’s important to always remember the people that have shaped you, have been there for the good and if you lose track of them, it’s losing track of memories, experiences and life in general. Sure people these days hate to actually use the phone but you know what, it is 100% of the time worth it. I guess this is growing up. .
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