I've been wondering lately if I'm really a good friend. I see the constant interaction on Facebook, and I don't understand why I'm not a part of that. Why don't I spend more time writing to the people I care about? Why is it so hard for me to call, or to make arrangements to get together?
Then I remember -- I don't know what to say. People write about their pain and suffering. I want to give hugs, and listen. How do I translate what I feel into a blurb of text? How do I let them feel heard, and understood, without trivializing what they are going through? Saying that I'd hug you is entirely different than doing it, and so I say nothing. When things for me are good, I don't want to brag. When they're bad, I don't want to complain. Small talk feels awkward and vaguely insulting. What does that leave me?
And I don't know what to do. I can't afford to go out for coffee with a different person every week. I don't know how to make myself heard in a group. Movies or other non-interaction feels like cheating.
I never learned this stuff. All of my friends came from places I went every day -- school first, then work. As the years have passed, what social skills I may have had withered. My mum did her best by me, but she never really had a social life until well after I moved out. Her friends were her family -- brothers and sisters and spouses -- and I am an only child.
I don't know what's too much. What's not enough? All I know is that when I love you, I love you forever. I know that I will do whatever is in my power to help a friend in need.
But who is going to call me for help, when I'm barely around the rest of the time?