By Hugo Palmiera
When asked to write a blog about friendship, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. Like many aspects of my life, I felt like my notion of friendship was slightly different than other people's. For starters, I have gone a large portion of my early life with the understanding that friendship is something completely transient and temporary; this isn’t to say, of course, that I felt friendships couldn’t and shouldn’t be cherished, nurtured, and sought out. Its just that all of my life I have moved around -- packing up and relocating for various reasons beyond the control of any child. I learned English in 1st grade and between 2nd and 8th grade, I attended five different schools in five different cities. This directly translated to letting go of many friends, then preparing myself for a whole new set of people both inside and outside of school. My immediate thoughts upon leaving were that I would never see any of these people again; time proved my initial reactions to be correct.
Upon entering high school on the East Coast, my grasp on the dynamics of friendship began to change. After several years, I returned to California during the summer of my sophomore year. It was then that I reconnected with old friends, several of whom are still very much a part of my life and will continue to be; and all along after leaving California for the East Coast I never thought I would see them again! These friends have shown me that true friendship isn't about being inseparable, it's about being separated and nothing changes. I believe it is this rekindling of connections that allowed me to see beyond my past belief. Now, I have an even greater appreciation for friendships.
If I were asked to give advice on friendship to a child, I think I know exactly what I would say even if it might seem a little cliché—after all, just because something is cliché, doesn’t change the fact that it’s accurate:
“Friends will come and go, that much you cannot change, but certainly make an effort to keep in mind those worth remembering in case your paths cross in the future. Write them, send them a postcard, Skype with them, even if it’s only once a month. Whatever you do, don’t lose them for good.”
One of my biggest regrets revolves around the fact that I could have chosen to pursue and maintain friendships with people I knew I would eventually leave—sometimes all too soon—rather than simply accepting I would likely never see them again. There is so much connection I could have kept had I made an effort to stay in touch. But that is the past! I have the good fortune to be blessed with amazing friends and look forward to meeting new ones and maintaining the old ones.
Readers, share with us how you keep in touch with your friends far away. Telephone? Email? Facebook? Or other ways? Please leave us a comment!