When I found out friends had visited New York but I didn’t get to see them, I used to be disappointed, mad or sometimes sad. In my mind, I’d think, “I thought we were close. How could you not make time for me?*” Now that I’ve made two visits back to New York since relocating to Los Angeles, I totally get it.
When I visited New York last October with Cindy, there were enough things going on amongst my friends (birthday parties, football games, dinners) that all we had to do is show up and I knew I would see most of my friends. Even for such a short trip, I feel like I got to spend time with a large amount of people.
In April, my mother had offered to buy me a ticket to New York as a Father’s Day surprise. I’m always reluctant to plan ahead for travel because I always think, “Well, if I interview for a job, I don’t want to not get it because I’m going to be away on a trip or I don’t want to lose vacaton days I might need for my wedding/honeymoon.” That mythical job still hasn’t come yet but just in case, I took a red eye flight on a Wednesday night.
In the weeks leading up to my trip, I only told a handful of people that I was going to be in town. I didn’t want to make too many social promises I couldn’t keep. I hoped some pre-planned event would show up the weekend I was going to be there that I could just attend and run into my friends like last time but one never materialized. I thought the best way to handle seeing my friends was just to pick a bar and say, “Come meet me here.” The day I was leaving Los Angeles, I started posting on Facebook that I was going to be in New York and if anyone wanted to get a drink on Thursday and Friday. I got to see a lot of people those two days but there were people who didn’t even find out I was in New York until it was too late. I should stop assuming that everyone is on Facebook 24/7.
I felt bad that I didn’t get to see everyone and it was mostly my fault. I put myself in a position to feel the least amount of pressure for seeing my friends and, as a result, I made some of my friends feel disappointed, mad or even sad.
Next time, I’m throwing a party with a month’s notice.
* The unspoken part of that thought is “…because I’m special and deserve special attention.”