One of the bits and pieces of life that I've been thinking about quite a bit since moving away is the concept of friendship.
What makes someone a "friend"? I imagine that question doesn't come with a standard, across-the-board answer, and the lines between friends and mere acquaintances can be blurry. Throw in our love affair with technology, and it muddies it up even more. As of this moment, I have 526 friends on Facebook. I imagine that is significantly less than some, and much more than others. Of those 526 folks, who would I actually consider a real friend? Additionally, which ones think of me as a real friend, and not just a source of pictures, songs, and random thoughts?
I can't speak for others and how they define friendship. Quite honestly, I am not even sure how I would define it myself these days. Leaving my hometown has left me taking a good look at those people I consider my friends, and I wonder if we were as good of friends as I thought. For the most of it, there seems to be a lot more "out of sight, out of mind" than "absence makes the heart grow fonder". Airfare ain't cheap (and I certainly don't expect to be playing hostess with the mostest on a regular basis), but I had hoped that by now, someone would have made their way to visit for a weekend. If it weren't for the internet, I imagine I would have lost contact with most people by now. Perhaps that is just how modern life is, and to be blunt, I don't like it one bit.
My goal is to be a good friend. The catch? You have to tell me what that means to you, which yes, might involve introspection and communication. For me, you can be a good friend by remembering/recognizing that I exist outside of the internet (to those of you who send physical mail and remember how to carry on phone conversations, thank you). Life is short, relatively speaking, and the little things do matter. I challenge you to be a good (or better) friend to someone today, while you still have the chance to do so.