After college and then graduate school, I lost a lot of friends to geographical sprawl. I have stayed steadfastly put here in Boston, watching friend after friend take off for Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Diego, New York, Tennessee and countless other states. And while I still love and cherish their presence in my life, it is not, and will not ever, be the same. Each good friend who moves away leaves a little hole in your life, a scratch in the fabric of your existence. I can be proud of them and excited from afar, but it comes with just a trace of sadness that they’re gone.
Boston is filled with twenty-somethings in the same semi-lonely state so one might assume it would be easy to make new friends. Wrong, wrong and so wrong. This is a topic of another post, but the NY Times did a great job explaining it here. Over the past few months, though, people I never thought would become a part of my life, or never thought would return to my life, have suddenly appeared. As if the heavens noticed that my heart needed some suturing and sent me the people who could do it.
There must be some grand plan for all of us up there in the sky, right? Whether it’s God, another deity that suits your religious beliefs, or just a tech-savvy guy with a super-computer, there are some things that have the definite ring of destiny to them. For me the past few months, I have had both the dumb luck to run into some wonderful women from my past and the smarts to realize that these ladies are meant to be in my life and will evidently find a way to be there. For anyone else experiencing this, let them stay. Otherwise, they will simply find another path. And these people will keep popping up in unexpected places until you open your heart and your life to them.
Of course, opening up your world to new friends (which is exactly what I am suggesting you do) can be completely terrifying. Who doesn’t have a healthy amount of scar tissue from old, soured relationships? I’ve experienced it all: backstabbing, judgments and sabotage. But I’ve also experienced the best in people. And I’ve discovered that our relationships are like a garden, they constantly need weeding, watering, food and attention. The past five years have been weighted towards loss. Friendships lost to relocation and friendships lost because they just weren’t working.
And now, feeling settled in Boston, I have engagement celebrations to go to, potluck dinners and doggie playdates, midday coffee breaks and maybe even a new training partner. And this all because I had the sense to open my eyes to the women living around me.