My second visit back home to Hawaii (once I started my collegiate education with MSOE) has taught me so much and encouraged me to socialize again. I don't know if I was homesick (the definition of that word is not in my vocabulary), but I was struggling to socialize and be myself with my Milwaukee friends in the Year 2016. Again, the first time I visited Hawaii while I was in college was in 2015 (my Junior year) and coming back the second time flipped the switch in my life and lit the light bulb for socializing. I was able to learn the practice (that's what I call this) of Reconnecting with Connections because of my Hawaii connections. My Hawaii friends.
When I reconnect with my friends, I like to ask what they are doing currently and what they plan on doing in the future. It is amazing to learn what every person has to say. I learn so much from my friends when asking about these two subject matters. I am able to witness the fire in their eyes and motivations for success. Soon enough, this made me want to learn more and reconnect on a deeper level with my friends from all locales that I have visited/called home (i.e. Chicago, Milwaukee). I am always smiling after having a good conversation with my friends.
It takes a lot of effort and quality time if you want to reconnect with your connections. The initial approach is the most terrifying step. You are clouded by the thought of rejection when thinking of a plan to reach out to a connection. My advice to clear that cloud....
JUST DO IT (insert Nike logo aka check mark aka swoosh). My common methods of reaching out to my friends/connections are through email (for the business persons), through Facebook, and through the Milwaukee Slack. Easiest thing you can say and it doesn't take much effort to type, involves two letters.... H.....I...."HI".
Start with that as an opener and see where it takes you. Now, from the initial contact, I proceed to ask if my friend is willing to meetup in person and catch up. Once the schedules are figured out and the meetup is booked on your calendars then the reconnecting continues.
Reconnecting in person is the best part in this practice. These is where the both of you are able to display your real emotions (body language, smiles, eye contact, laughter). Again, the relationship between you and your connection just grows even more when meeting up one-on-one (my favorite way to reconnect with friends). Keep conversing, be yourself, and listen to what your connection has to share. It is a reciprocity relationship. From here, I leave it up to you to decide on the next steps.
PS. If I asked you what you are doing now and what you plan to do in the future, you are my friend :) If I haven't yet, then don't be ":(", I just didn't get to you yet!