I remember singing a song when I was a seven year old Brownie:
As I’ve moved- through the years, and around the world, I have made many friends. Some silver, some gold, but new vs. old is not the division line, and one is not more or less important or significant, in my life, than the other.
I lived in the same home and went to the same community of schools from preschool through high school graduation, and I have friends who came into and left my life throughout that time; some of whom will be with me, in my life, or in my heart, forever.
As I move around the world, I find that making new friends is a bit like dating, at least I imagine that’s what it’s like, considering I haven’t dated in about 25 years. I meet people through my kids, or in my neighborhood, or through other friends, and I rarely meet someone I would not want to see again; but, just like anyone else, I connect with some people more instantly and deeply than others. These women are the ones who will remain close friends no matter how far the government sends us from one another. Others are friends based on proximity or circumstance, but that does not make them a less integral part of my life. Each friend has her own place in my heart and is just as important to me, it’s just that everyone connects on different levels for different reasons and spans of time.
I learned an important lesson 10+ years ago: it is essential to connect with other women, no matter how short our stay might be. Back then, I always felt the temporary-ness (yes, I know that’s not a word) of our living situation deeply. I’d think, ‘we are here for six months or two years or some other finite amount of time, and then we are moving on, so whomever I connect with will be just one more person I’ll have to say goodbye to when we leave.’
I later realized that this self defeatist mindset made me waste precious time and miss great opportunities to connect with fantastic women.
I don’t waste time now, I seize every opportunity I can to make deep attachments and I know they will last for the rest of my life. Thanks to email and Facebook and Instagram, I can feel like I’m a part of the lives of my friends, and they mine, no matter how far flung we are. I’m much better off having let them in. Whether we see each other once a year or once in a lifetime, my life is better for having crossed paths with the precious women who touch my life.
You know who you are. Thank you.