I recently had lunch with one of my new friends, and in the simple course of sharing what was going on in my life, she shared a perspective that suddenly brought an objectivity I’d been missing. Wow, what an unexpected gift she gave me. I say it was unexpected, but I really only mean that in that moment with that person, I wasn’t asking for advice. With the kind way she delivered it, it didn’t feel like advice, either. It was one of those countless gentle nudges that we receive from those who care about us, altering the course of our lives by a degree. As the saying goes, those one degree movements are significant when projected out over time.
We left a lot of friends behind in our interstate move last year. That was one of the more difficult parts of the decision. While sad, those big life changes give us new opportunities, new opportunities to impact the lives of others, and have our own lives enriched in return. This new friendship was the result of a completely serendipitous event. I took a chance and reached out, and she reached back. You never know what will happen when you do, but over the course of my life, way more good has resulted than not. I’ve learned to ignore that first and sometimes second awkwardness, having learned that third time is somehow the charm; when the third feels like the first, it just isn’t meant to be. Our lunch last week was a third lunch. Lucky me, I have a new friend to whom I owe a debt. It will be fun to take my time and find a way to repay what I owe. And to look for the next new friend I don’t yet know.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that gives value to survival.” –C.S. Lewis