REDISCOVERING FRIENDSHIPS ON DISTANCE
Voice messaging as a friendship saviour
This post is for all my friends abroad. To you guys who I’ve met and shared time with back then. I am writing also to all of you who have friends abroad and have memories of how great the ‘good old times’ were. But most of all, this post is about the power of keeping the friendship alive NOW.
I have so many good memories and would love to sometimes go back and replay them with all the smells, jokes and the little perks, but obviously we all moved forward in one way or another. The great part is that now more that ever we can stay in touch, no matter the distance, time zone, new work, new partners, new friends, you name it. IF WE WANT TO. That is the only limitation. And this is where it becomes exciting :) Every friend we ever had is only one step away from pressing a button and call, or text, video call or record a voice message. Now, someone would oppose that this can never replace a REAL friendship that can grow when people live close by or at least in the same country. I agree and disagree at the same time. This is what happened to me about three months ago.
A good friend of mine from Ireland, an Italian botanical artist and a teacher Giulia Canevari called me. She had a new commission proposal and needed a feedback from someone who could understand. We did not keep in touch much since I left Dublin and moved to Spain (over a year ago). And so now there was a good reason to talk a bit. But the reception was often breaking and I was tight on time, once because of having to answer my daughters requests, next time because of a big work flow or just trying to handle the basic house duties and so on. Nothing unusual. We all know this type of rushed phone calls. At the end she said: ‘Listen, I will record a voice message to explain the conditions of this new opportunity and I would love to hear your opinion on it.’
And this is where it all took a new course.
After exchanging a couple of voice messages back and forth (because it was the only way to be able to talk and listen freely to each other), we have shifted from talking about the commission to discussing our future plans, dreams, fears, talking about our partnerships, well…..we talked LIKE THE FRIENDS DO when they have enough time for each other in a continiuous and very free way (in time that suited each other). It felt strange at the start to record the message. It was something new and in my case even with a pinch of a kind of a stage fright. Do you remember your first voice message to someone you knew but not well enough to feel fully relaxed and hoping it will go ok?
Well, guys I know that this type of communication is not for everyone, and those guys probably stoped reading some lines ago. But us, who have gone through refreshing and discovering friendships on distance via voice messages, I just want to say….I love the freedom of listening during the time that I can pay the most attention, I love to discover new deep layers of the person I thought I knew. And it is a magic discovery because after a while so much wisdom and shared experiences reveal if the person on the other side has a chance to express themselves without an interruption and in their own phase. Also did you noticed that (in contrast with the text messaging) the risk of getting into misunderstandings and conflicts are way lower and the time to explain properly is available? Great, isn’t it? And in Dublin, when we lived just a few neighbourhoods away from each other, we never had this much good quality exchange. What a paradox.
At the end I feel that I owe you one last thought to be shared. Living far away from our friends and the closed ones is not a tragedy. To blame the distance is. Because the only thing to blame are our own decisions made. To press the button or not. And you know what? Thanks to our ‘voice message ping-pong’, Giulia is coming over to Spain to see me in a couple of months. IN PERSON :)