For the Love of Conversation

Los Angeles is a busy place—most of us work 9 to 5 jobs and then spend forty-five minutes to an hour navigating traffic to get home. Once home, we tend to our pets, chores, make dinner, call friends and family, etc. It’s why taking the time, after all those domestic duties, to pick up the phone and chat with someone matters.

There’s something magical about talking into the wee hours of the night—both of you battling to keep your eyes open because you don’t want the conversation to end. One person says that they really need to sleep and then thirty minutes later the conversation is still going. It reminds me of conversations with my best friend growing up, Tammy. She’d call every Saturday morning after cartoons were over and we’d talk for hours. My mom would marvel at it—saying we stayed on the phone like grown folks. I don’t remember what we talked about, kid stuff I suppose, but I do remember laughing and not wanting to hang up. I looked forward to talking with her, to sharing that time with someone I cared about.

In the end, relationships are about just that, giving someone your time and being there for them when they need you. Even though I was a kid, if Tammy ever said she needed me, I’d be on my Huffy racing over to her house on the other side of town—I’d find a way. And that’s the point; some relationships lose sight of that. Those late-night conversations stop after the first few months of dating. People settle in and sometimes start taking the other person for granted. The relationship becomes less about communication and connection, and more about the roles each person now assumes. Even as an eight-year-old, I’d do anything for Tammy because she was my friend—it was honest and pure. Which is why when I encounter that same feeling in my adult life, I savor it. Being able to get to know someone, to invest time into that person is a gift. It’s what we were put on this earth for. We’re not designed to live as islands—isolated and withdrawn. We’re designed to interact, to communicate, to fellowship, and to love.

Los Angeles is packed with people but it still offers isolation. And though Warren Zevon sung about isolation being splendid, it can also turn depressing. My advice to dreamlanders who feel like they are losing connections to those who matter, pick up the phone, don’t text. Instead, have a real conversation because just hearing the voice of someone you care about, might be just the medicine you need.

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