Friday, July 12, 2019
A few weeks ago, I met an old friend who was visiting from the US. We worked together forty years ago and were close friends. I went to meet her after work. It was a two-hour journey on the worst packed trains in Tokyo. After an hour and a half in a coffee shop, she went back to her hotel to sleep off her jet lag.
I felt several things after that. I have a number of long distance old friends and some of the connections continue to work well and some, not so much. Before any conversations, I need to be in the right frame of mind and be somewhat prepared. (Maybe extroverts don’t need to do that.) That day I wasn’t prepared. I had the recent experience of pushing DH to his clinic in a storm, and work had been intense for a couple of weeks. Immediately after going our separate ways, I felt my conversation had been too negatively tinged.
Today I met a friend who is a present-life friend. Our lives are similar so there are a number of personal topics we don’t need to stay away from. I prepared this time - fifty-fifty air time, stuff about books, list up her interests in my head, her husband etc. I feel I still veered a bit to the negative. Life is bumpy right now, but I think it was lack of practice rather than that.
I’ll be able to socialize more when my vacation starts in two weeks. Socializing and conversation are like playing a musical instrument - for an introvert anyway. You can only give your best if you practice all the time. You don’t learn the skills and then you’re done. They need to be polished up all the time or they get rusty quite quickly - a project for the summer vacation.