The thought has been plaguing me lately. The nagging thought at the back of my mind that I have gotten bad at creating and maintaining relationships; the frightening certainty that I am neglectful of my friends old and new. I used to be really good at calling, emailing, and facebooking people- and I used to feel really bad when I felt my efforts were not being reciprocated. Lately, though, I realize that I don’t feel the sting of what I used to consider “rejection” from my friends- probably because I’m now just as uncommunicative as they used to be.
I blame it on love and travel.
We’re hopelessly in love, Liebling and I, so smitten we are with one another that often the other’s company is all we seek. I promised to never be one of those girls who is joined at the hip with her man but we have such a great time together that it’s easy to do things as a pair- just the two of us. I’ve gotten caught up in my love story. After being in a long-distance relationship for a year and a half, we are making up for lost time and hungry for each other’s companionship. In addition, it’s easy to do stuff together, especially on the spur of the moment, since we live together.Liebling and I in the airport when he came to visit me in Canada last summer
As for travel, I realize that while I live in London, I am never here, especially not mentally. I work at a school during the week, then on the weekend and holidays I am almost always gone: to Newquay and to Norway, to Monaco and to Malta. Mentally, even on a Wednesday I am thinking ahead to Saturday and being somewhere else, actively fleshing out my itinerary for [insert destination here] as I walk the streets of London. During the week I don’t really go out- since I am recovering from my busy weekends/holidays. Intentions of writing my friends back home or even calling my mom are dashed when I’m planning or a trip, hustling to make it to the airport on time or typing up a post about my most recent adventure on the blog.
This failure at keeping in touch extends to the new friends I’ve made here in London as well. I’ve been really lucky to connect with some of the most wonderful people here, particularly in the blogging community. But at best, I see them monthly. Because travelling so much has made me disconnect from my friendships.A few of the new friends I’ve made in London. Great people!
I feel guilty.
There are unanswered messages in my inbox that I meant to return but just never got around to. There are unfulfilled promises of Skype dates and phone calls, and plans to meet up for breakfast/lunch/dinner with my new London friends that have fallen through because of me. This has got to change.
When I think back to the best times I’ve had in life, the happiest moments I’ve lived, they’ve always happened because of the people. Not the places, not really what I did while there… But the people I spent my time with.
I feel like I want to take a step back from travel and from my relationship to reconnect with people back home and in London.
Because people are important. Particularly those people who love and care about you, those people who make you laugh, are willing advisors and confidantes and shoulder-to-cry-on providers.
I’m going to try my best to invest more in these people, keep in touch better; it’s going to start by returning those messages and making those Skype calls.
Are you good at keeping in touch with people? How do you manage to make the time with a hectic work/life schedule?