A Message For My Friends
I just stumbled across this note that I wrote on Facebook, back in August, 2008. I tend to dislike most of my old writing, but this really hit home. Thought I’d share it again.
I was just looking through my emails, reading these emails that I’d shared with someone I love, about a year ago. These are emails that I don’t get to share with them anymore, because they’re not here anymore. There is someone right now who you could send an email to who would really like to hear from you. We have this great tool right here, facebook. It’s like “wow, Tom Smith from Primary school just added me”, and after a quick hello, we don’t bother anymore.
Of course, we add and we add, because sometimes we just add people that we recognise, which is cool. But there are some people on here who are really your friends, or who really used to be your friends, or people who really wanted to be your friends but fucked up real bad, and they think all the time about how badly they fucked up. Maybe it’s time to drop them an email, or give them a call, or knock on their door.
Because eventually, we’re all going to become a ‘RIP’ facebook group. And we all guiltily join them, thinking “oh fuck, why didn’t I call her more”, or “Oh shit, she lived three doors away and I never bothered to go see her”.
There are relatives who are going to get illnesses, there are friends who are going to be in plane crashes, there are friends of friends who you always liked who are going to move away and you’re never going to see them again. And if this seems depressing, it’s just the truth, none of us are here forever. It’s time right NOW, to pick up the phone. Have an awkward conversation.
I know people who text me and say “I’m really sorry I’ve not replied, I’ve been so busy these past three months” and I bump into people in the street who I really care for who say “it’s been too long, let’s catch up soon” and then off they go. Of course, sometimes we say these things because we genuinely don’t like the other person, but more often than not it’s because we’re lazy, or tired, but this isn’t good enough. It takes 10 seconds to send a text back to the person that text you. The reason they text you is because they LIKE you and want to KNOW you and CARE about how you are. And that person that bumped into you in the street was someone who you could have gone for a drink with or a meal with the second you met them, you could have had an evening of laughs and reminiscing right there and then.
I always hated photographs. I would never appear in them. “I’m not photogenic” I’d cry, “Noooo, I’m too ugly” I’d mope. And then just before the summer time three years ago someone who I love so so so much passed away. And through the thousands of boxes of pictures that showed every moment of her beautiful life, from being a kid to the very end… there was nothing to prove I knew her, there was not one picture of me smiling with her, even though I used to see her and smile with her often. What a missed opportunity. Now when people take photos, I just get through my camera shyness and go for it. Even though I look like a complete dick in pictures, I’d rather exist. I’d rather know when I go, or someone I care for goes– that there’s evidence we knew and loved each other.
Stop reading this note. Go pick up your phone. That person who texts you saying to go cinema and catch up, that friend who slightly annoys you who you keep avoiding, that Uncle who you figure you’ll just see at Christmas— pick up your phone, find out how their day has been, write a long, rambling, nonsensical email to an old friend. Because I promise you one thing.. one day, BOOM, they’re gone. And all you’re left with is regret, and that thought that won’t go away which is precisely “fuck fuck fuck, I loved you. I wish we had one more conversation, I wish we went to one more football game together, I wish I didn’t dismiss that opinion you had, I wish I wish I wish”.
Open your email, pick up your phone, make use of your facebook. We are getting older and older, the ONE thing that makes this all worth it is the fun and games we have with others, it’s time to make the most of it and step out the front door.