Friendship in the time of Corona
Are you showing up for your friends?
I have to honest and say I haven't been showing up as I should.
I really miss my friends. I don’t have many but the ones I have are gold and I cherish our friendships. Girl time has always been my favorite time, ever since grade school. Everything gets better after time with my girls.
I don’t know if you’re like me, but 3 months into quarantine, I realized there had been people who were once very close to me, that I hadn’t heard from or spoken to in months. I missed them, thought of them, and I wondered, are we still friends? I felt guilty for not calling them, and I wondered if they were thinking about calling me too.
We can no longer do the things we used to do. No more meeting for breakfast to catch up, no more impromptu hangouts til 1:00 am, no more ‘coming in for a while’ when we drop off kids to play. The things we used to do to facilitate connection, closeness, and intimacy are no more.
So what do we do? We have to find new ways to connect, and work harder on keeping in touch and staying in each other’s lives. A month ago, my friend Joan organized a Zoom call for the Spartan Girls . If you’ve known me for a while, maybe you know I trained with Joan and a team of 5 other beautiful women and we completed 3 Spartan races in 2018 (that's us in the picture at the starting line before our first race). We joined the call from Khobar, Amman, Boston, and Florida. It was fantastic. I felt alive and loved and didn’t realize how much I needed them until that call. We all agreed that it was so nice and we should do it again. But we didn’t. Why? No one has made the effort again.
The truth is this pandemic has disrupted our way of life, and we have to make a conscious effort to not let it affect our friendships. We need to think about what it means for us to be close to people. Does following your friends on social media make you feel close to them? Personally, I need to talk to my friends, ask them what they think, and hear what they’re going through. It’s not enough for me to follow them on social, but that’s just me.
How do we change so we maintain these relationships? How do we adapt so we can stay friends? Do some sacrifices need to be made? These are some questions we need to think and be honest about.
I think we all struggle to make friends. I think it comes easier for some than others. I think some people like to know everyone, and others like to have smaller circles. I think some people have enough friends and are not interested in making more, and some people are longing to feel seen and appreciated. It’s different for everyone, but what I know for sure is we all need human connection and we all need to make a conscious effort to let the important people in our lives know they still matter.