the wonderful world of veena.

12 March 2014

40 days of giving back, day seven: redial.

If there is one thing most of my friends will agree on, it's that I am terrible at talking on the phone. It's not that I can't hold a conversation; it's more that I just dislike having a phone attached to my ear. I'm pretty good at Skype, because it's hands-free and I can multitask while speaking to a friend, but phones and I famously do not get along for the actual use of making calls. I'm also bad at phone talking because I often do not know where my phone is, and that can be a setback sometimes [or so I've heard].

Today's task was to call up and reconnect with someone I've not spoken to in a long time. As you can imagine, that's quite a long list, and one that is quite daunting for a phone hater such as myself. At the top of my list and foremost in my mind was Mindy, my best friend from my internship days in Bangalore. Mindy is my other half, and we often joke that we're not so much the same person as we are twins who were born a year apart. Often one of us will email the other about a ridiculous experience, and the response will be that a similar ridiculous experience happened to the other around the same time. Although we often live on opposite sides of the world from each other, we have experienced life epiphanies, breakups, and other happenings - both good and bad - in close proximity to the other.

Because of this symmetry [not the right word, but the one I'm going with for the moment], we're both really bad at keeping in touch with each other. She's the one person I know who is more transient than I am, and it's tough enough to just keep track of where in the world we each are without the added complication of actually keeping in touch. Also, she's almost as bad at phones as I am, and because she is a scuba instructor and is often on a boat, she's tougher to get on the line than I am. So really, we're perfect for each other.

But today I realized it was time to call Mindy. I've had an email to her in my Drafts folder for months, and every few weeks I'll add on to it, so it's currently on track to be the longest email in the entire world that never gets sent because she'll claw her eyes out halfway through it because it's just that long. So rather than continuing to add to that never-ending and never-to-be-sent email, I decided it was time to pick up the phone and call her.

I dialed her number - one of the few I still know by heart - and as I listened to it ring on the other end, it occurred to me that it was noon for her - she lives in Hawaii - and she probably would not answer. It was the first time since she moved last year that the 5-hour time difference really hit me, and as I left her a long and rambling and convoluted voicemail [I'm also notoriously bad at leaving voicemails. I should just avoid phones forever], I realized just how much I've let our friendship lapse and how much I wanted to speak to her.

In truth I think a super long Skype session is what will work best for both of us, so I guess technically I didn't complete this task, but it's at least pushed it to the forefront of my mind that one of my goals over these next few weeks is to reconnect with my Mindy-girl. Because I miss her something fierce.

[what i think is the first picture i have of us. taken after mango showers circa mid-september 2005. this was the night we drove to china, taught the indians to sing '99 bottles of beer on the wall', and cemented my name as taco, because all i wanted was taco bell]
[this is the most recent picture i have of us from when mindy came to visit me in little rock, circa mid-april 2011. the years may pass, but the picture face remains the same]
But in other news, I did get to speak to Shalini AND Steve on the phone today. Both were brief chats - Shalini to give her my flight info for this weekend's jaunt to see her in DC, and Stevo because we've been playing phone tag since his birthday a few weeks ago - but it was good to speak to them both.

And even though I didn't get to speak to Mindy, I still spoke on the phone. Twice. I'm pretty sure that counts as a win.

Previous Tasks:
Day One - Start a Journal
Day Two - Create a Generosity Jar
Day Three - Tool Up
Day Four - Connect
Day Five - An Attitude of Gratitude
Day Six - Reach

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