During a trip to NY city this past weekend I realized I was unknowingly working on one of the items on my bucket list. Cultivating valuable friendships made it to my list because due to many relocations during my lifetime I have had to separate from dear friends, many of whom I have lost touch with, and others I still keep in contact with.
However, there’s always been a part of me that longs for those early friendships; the ones that will always remain regardless of time or distance. There is also a sort of barrier within me that has not allowed me to cultivate many quality relationships in a good while. I have rationalized this and have come to the conclusion that A) I might have some separation anxiety surrounding new relationships since I have had to leave many dear friends in the past, and B) Perhaps friendships that began on my younger days seem more significant because of the purity and transparency of that age.
An unfortunate event, the death of a family member brought me to the city on Saturday. The plan was to attend the service, and family reunion following it, and return home on the same night. However, the family reunion lasted longer than planned and I decided against taking the bus back home at that time since if I did I wouldn’t get home ’till midnight . I called a dear friend from my highschool years who happens to live in NY city at the moment, and asked if I could stay the night. She was thrilled, and so was I.
My friend and I have kept in touch on and off through the years. Currently we talk on the phone every several months, text sometimes, and are on each other’s Facebook list of friends. However; we had not seen each other in 13 years; we have not met each other’s children; and had not tasted each other’s cooking. As an added bonus, her sister, whom is my dear friend as well, happened to be visiting her for a few days! The status of my relationship with her sister is pretty similar, with the exception that I had seen her 2 years ago during a trip to my hometown.
Upon arriving at the cozy city apartment I felt right at home. It was like we had seeing each other yesterday. After many hugs we started chatting like we were picking up a conversation were we had left it off just recently. My boots came off; we giggled and gossiped; prepared a meal together and downed it along with some beer. Just like the silly teenage girls we once were, we even tallied all the relationships each of us has had, and compared boyfriends and husbands. It was absolutely great. Amazingly none of us felt the need to hide our mistakes or to pretend that we were perfect; there was no one to impress. After all this time we still felt extremely comfortable being our true selves with each other. That is what true friendship is, isn’t it? What a great night.
On my way back home the next morning I realized that this unexpected visit counted towards my goal of cultivating valuable friendships. Moreover, it dawned on me that some of the items on my bucket list, this one included, are perennial, and that such items need to be addressed slightly differently than “culmination tasks”. Since, I have been pondering on ways to help me measure my progress on the “ongoing” type of tasks. Suggestions welcomed.