I have always prized on having friends that we can go without talking or keeping in contact with each other but later reconnecting as if we had never stopped talking. I think everyone has a deep desire for those types of solid friendships but sometimes a friendship that is left unattended, can slip through the cracks without notice. I’m learning this lesson first-hand. And since returning home, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a friend. Like what are some qualities I desire in a friend, qualities such as being caring, truthful, supportive, trustworthy, and consistent. And the last one consistency, by far has been the hardest for me to give in a friendship.
So the combination of sincere guilt and fear of letting another friendship slip made me seriously think about a solution for inconsistency. So I started compiling a list of immediate friends and family on my journal and categorizing them by affiliation. For example, I grouped everyone into categories such as family, university, mentors, and etc. That list quickly filled the page and it was shocking. Side Note: now I know why they say it’s hard keeping a cap on the guest count for weddings. I was shocked when I soon realized that I have only kept in contact with only a dozen of the people on the list, which means that the rest of the people on the list that I claim that have a special place in my heart are not being tended to.
Next, I wanted to do something pragmatic. So I challenged myself last week to text at least three people that crossed my mind that day. Something as simple as “Hey____, hope you are doing well and thinking of you. “ Little did I know, that dedication to this process every day last week would lead to some deep conversations and endless possibilities of reuniting with old connections.
The first example is connecting to my dear friend Jajaida. Jajaida was one of my summer roomies from my graduate program. During our summer time together we had a respectful and mutual understanding. We both valued our alone time, but we also loved taking long walks together around the school to get a break from our large load of grad work. During the walks, we shared about our life long dreams and goals. She was my voice of reason. In many ways, she is more than a friend but a mentor- this mentorship continued to be a solid support to lean on during some of my toughest times in Shanghai.
Anyways, she crossed my mind this week and I sent her a text this week. The text message lead to conversations about jobs that at one point I wrote, “I’m itching to go somewhere.” To my surprise, she sends me a casual text to come visit her in Chicago. Immediately, I was on Skyscanner, looking at flights and booked a pair of tickets to Chicago, and guys, I will be flying out tomorrow morning!
Speaking of spontaneous events, the second event of a surprise reunion through texting three friends a day is the example of my reunion with Chaai. I met her in Shanghai while I was working at Scholastic. From the first time we met, we just clicked. I quickly noticed that she had many admirable qualities that I looked up too. She’s confident, yet down-to-earth, and capable of what she sets her mind too.
On Friday morning, I saw that she was on FB messenger, and I sent her a message. The next thing you know she sends me an image of her New York to San Francisco boarding pass. She was coming down for the weekend. This lead to an opportunity for us to hang out this Sunday. So many events have changed both of our lives, and it was great to have the time of just recapping the last few months, and being genuinely happy for each other’s growth since then.
These two examples highlight some of the craziest opportunities that were opened through the commitment of simply texting three people who had crossed my mind that day. Reconnecting with familiar faces is not only nostalgic, but it is also powerful when your friends are able to reaffirm the strength that they clearly can see in you and encourage you to keep going when it’s tough. I mean who doesn’t need a pick-me-upper every now and then (insert the emoji girl with the raised hand).
As I wrap up this post, I challenge you all to try to text three people that have crossed your mind during the day and watch the world of possibilities it leads too. Please also send me messages about your own personal stories of trying this challenges! Thanks again for reading.
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