I’m the first to admit that I find it hard to keep in touch. I’m not the best at talking on the phone, as my schedule differs quite a bit from my friends’ working hours, and I spend a fair amount of time traveling. I’m also a little bit antisocial, so I sometimes have trouble mustering up the appropriate amount of enthusiasm for an impromptu phone chat.
One of my longest friendships has survived living in different states, going to different universities, working in vastly different fields, and spending time with very different groups of friends. Maintaining a friendship takes more than effort when your lives run on opposite schedules and in, at times, far-away time zones.
After months (maybe even years) of phone tag, long-winded text messages, and only occasional moments when our schedules aligned, we decided to think outside the box. Fast forward to today, and I think we’ve finally found a way to keep in touch that works, fitting effortlessly into our schedules. We devised a sort of grown-up Pen Pal system.
Remember that sacred feeling of opening your mailbox and seeing an unexpected letter from a friend? Well, I get the same feeling when I open my Gmail account to find a new email in our never-ending chain of updates, questions, advice, and love. It’s amazing how much support and love can be transmitted through the internet’s mysterious network of wires and satellites, straight to my smart phone.
Sometimes we transpose our thoughts into a hundred lines of stories, questions, and thoughts. Other times, we quickly jot down a simple, short note. We share screenshots and snapshots, sharing our lives through Gmail.
Kerri, thank you for being a willing participant in our new cyber friendship. I miss the days when our biggest worry was whether we’d wear our blue or black Adidas sandals to watch your brothers play baseball at Pope Field, but I love these, days too. Happy 15 years of friendship!