Over a year ago my I moved to New Zealand with my family. It has been amazing in so many ways, but I do have to admit to being lonely sometimes.
I miss my friends. I miss the friends who have celebrated with me during moments of great joy and have mourned with me when times were tough.
There is a sense of connection that comes from sharing one another’s burdens that is impossible to replicate with a “like” or a tweet. Deep friendship requires an investment of time and energy, and that seems harder now that there are so many shallow, counterfeit versions of friendship that give us the false sense of being connected but lack any depth.
To address this feeling, I’ve decided to invest in friendship and human connection this year. And it feels contrived. Who needs a plan for friendship?!
But the reality is that these investments won’t happen without me being purposeful about it. So I’ve started by scheduling time to connect with old friends and then more time to develop friendships with people who I want to know better. In some cases, it’s a monthly video chat, while in others it’s just a little note to remind myself to call someone out of the blue.
Brad Feld, a partner at the venture capital firm Foundry Group, has been scheduling an annual trip with his father for years. They pick a place, schedule a weekend and go. There’s not a ton on the agenda. They take walks, take naps and eat chocolate ice cream twice a day, since that is his father’s favorite food. Now, he takes time away from investing in companies to take an annual trip with his three oldest male friends too.