Four years ago, I made a really good decision:
I created a Google calendar event for 2:30p on a Wednesday afternoon, to call my friend Jeff.
Then I set it to “Repeat weekly.”
Jeff lives in California and I live in Texas, so we rarely get to hang out. I hate email, he hates Facebook, so we rarely message each other. Phone calls were the way to go.
And for the past 4 years, nearly every single week, we’ve talked for an hour on the phone.
It’s changed my life for the better.
Most weeks, we chat about nothing in particular. We tell stories. We make jokes. There’s no small talk, we just go.
But there are some weeks that really stand out. Calls I still think about.
Jeff talked me through becoming a father, even though I didn’t feel ready and was scared we’d go broke.
He talked me through depression, when I couldn’t find reasons why I needed to be kind to myself.
I like to think I’ve done the same for him.
I know it might not sound like much, but what if we’d never had those calls? We would have just been alone in our thoughts. And there were a few times when I felt like he pulled me out as I was drowning.
Those calls inspired me to set up another weekly call, with my dad.
Before, I had this fantasy that “one day, my dad and I are going to have this amazing close relationship.” We’ll travel around the U.S. and visit every baseball stadium in a camper! It will be great!
I had that idea in my head for years. I made no progress.
Then I started calling him, every week.
And it changed our relationship. He needed it, too. His best friend had passed away unexpectedly. That hour he used to have with him was gone, and it just automatically filled back up with work.
Because of the calls, we are closer, which is exactly what I’d hoped for. I believe he hoped for it, too.
Calling someone is a vulnerable act. What if they don’t actually want to talk? What if they just ignore me? What if I say something a little too real, and they no longer want me in their life?
But the alternative is not having them in your life.
Loneliness is a problem I used to have. But I do not feel lonely because of these weekly calls. It’s an hour away from work, but it’s a commitment to friendship. And it’s made all the difference.