To My Friends Who Keep Showing Up

When describing me one time, Penn said I made friends much like I enter a cold pool. Some of you jump, cannonball style, right into the deep end. Not me. 

First I start on the steps letting my body get acclimated to the temperature one inch at a time. It’s twenty minutes before I’m waist deep and even longer before I plunge my whole body under the water. Once I’m submerged, I will stay in for hours. 

I tend to work the same way in all sorts of relationships. I take my time, but once I’m in, I’m loyal for life. But here’s the thing: This last year has me sitting on the side of the friendship pool deck. Sure, in the beginning we had some zoom cocktail hours but that grew exhausting after a full day online. My body craved sweatpants and Netflix, not long phone calls with dear friends. I would send a few text messages and silly memes to check in, but I didn’t have the energy for anything else. 

Excitement from Couch Sitting

If you’re new here are some things you should know about me: I’m a proud introvert. I dance with anxiety and depression, trying to stay two steps ahead.  While some people get adrenaline boosts from jumping out of an airplane, the thought of sitting on my couch with my dog on a Friday night sends my heart racing with pure excitement. It’s no wonder a global pandemic pulled me deeper into my own head. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time and talking to my friends. These people are my hype squad, my soul-soothers, my comedic relief. I need them but I haven’t done the work of tending to those relationships in the last year. I was busier than I had ever been (we published a book and that was a whole thing) but that’s not a real excuse. 

Getting Back in the Pool

So to my friends who keep calling and texting, even when I don’t pick up … thank you. Thank you for not taking it personally. And when I do answer, thank you for not reminding me how long it’s been since we’ve talked. I want to promise that I’ll do better, but let’s be honest, it’s me we’re talking about. 

My new goal is to make an actual phone call or FaceTime once a week with friends out of state and monthly outdoor dinners with local friends. I’m calling it my #C2CP (Couch to Cocktail Party) training plan. Hopefully by the end of the summer I’ll be ready to see an entire group of people (safely, of course.)

If you’re an extrovert, like my husband, and reading this, you’re rolling your eyes in disbelief. “HOW COULD YOU NOT WANT TO BE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY AFTER THIS LAST YEAR?!” It’s not that simple for me. I’m only now starting to process the weight of the last year and it’s going to take me some time to adjust. 

Thank you for understanding. Thank you for being my friend. Don’t give up on me.