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I forget where I read it, but a piece circulated Twitter a few weeks ago saying that the easiest way to make friends is to show up. And the easiest way to not have friends is to not show up.
That’s correct, but it’s still a hard teaching. The older you get the worse your body works (I get tired now, which is trash), and the less time you have to do more things. Finding space from that ever-decreasing sliver of available time to invest in friends is a struggle.
I’m getting better at it, but I have some regrets. I was too busy with my own bullshit a few years back and missed Holden’s wedding. What the hell was I thinking?
When Henry’s appendix exploded, I somehow didn’t make it across the Bay to show love in person. Texts and goodwill are shit compared to showing up.
Happily, despite my aging corpse and history of being an idiot, I’m getting better at showing up. Even luckier for me, I have good examples being set for me by people I love.
Here are two from the past month:
Silas flew out to Providence this Easter to spend time with Liza and me. Despite the fact that he got me to watch part of The Movie I Shall Not Finish, his visit was a blast, and was landmark in a way, marking the first time that one of our West Coast friends had flown out to visit.
Not that he really approved of me taking his picture before dinner, mind:
A week later my oldest sister flew into Providence for about a day to attend Liza’s bridal shower. That meant the world to Elizabeth, as she thinks Emilee rocks. (I agree). Em even got to taste wedding cakes with us during the same trip.
Lovely, yes, but both of those trips were very expensive in terms time. Silas and Emilee had things to do (Em has two kids to boot), and places to be. But they decided to show up anyway.
I got to pay it both backwards and forwards pretty much right away. Liza is out in SF at the moment and we have already taken the train to Sunnyvale to see Emilee, and BART under the Bay to see Silas. We even threw in a stop in Redwood City to see Nadine and Kunal and pamper their perfect pup. Tonight we’re off to see Ryan and Tracey near their digs. Showing up, showing up, showing up.
Like a lot of life, you can’t go back and be smarter. I can’t un-miss Holden’s wedding. I’m pissed at myself about that, but I promise that whatever Big Next Thing he does (or Keeri, really), I’ll be there for it.