New friends are easy to make. Old friends live in different cities or even countries. Old friends have different interests, have grown apart, have new friends and partners and careers. It's harder to start a conversation with old friends, because once you've got the "big" stuff out of the way, it's somehow harder to just do the small talk thing.
We're old friends, you think. What happened? We used to talk so easily about everything and anything.
But life happened. Life got in the way. Some people — like Old Friend Angela — are fantastic at keeping up with people. But more people are like me. I get lazy. I get busy. I get so bogged down in living life that I forget my old friends.
I'll be honest: I'm not a very nice person. I can be cold. If I don't care enough about an Old Friend, or they try my patience too hard — I'll drop them.
It's selfish, isn't it? I don't like this about me.
But that doesn't apply to some friends. I realise years after losing touch with some friends that I've done so, and I feel really, deeply sad. I want to meet up with them, do coffee, go shopping, hang out, talk about stupid little things. I want to have an awkward conversation where we move past the big things and have no small talk to fill in the gaps, the kind of conversation before you start to become real friends again.
And I'm on a mission to try to reclaim some of my Old Friends. Two, in particular.
The first is my best friend from childhood, Rachel, whose family lived overseas with my family. We were best friends — until my family moved back to New Zealand, and then we lost touch purely because I was lazy.
The other makes me really sad: my sister. I've only talked to her once this year. Life keeps getting in the way for both of us, but I don't want to let that be a reason any longer: my sister is far too important to me. I know what happens in her life, the big things, but we don't have that awesome sisterly bond any more, where we could discuss anything, where we acted stupid, where conversations ranged from the deep to the ridiculous to the awkwardly personal.
New friends are easy to make. But I want my old friends back.