An homage to my girlfriends …
Last month, I was able to take a few weeks off from work and go back to the US, my first trip back in over a year. I had a big chunk of leave – and I was going to spend it in a big way – some fabulous yoga retreat or kayaking in the Everglades, something worthy of “Travel and Leisure” magazine! None of that happened, but in the end, what I did do was 100 times better. I nourished my soul visiting friends and family. I decided not to make any formal plans to see sights or do “things.” Instead, I wanted to reconnect. And boy was it the best thing ever. I was on 9 planes, 4 car trips, and a round trip bus ride before my journey was over. And even though it was tiring, it was such food for my soul!! So much food for the soul that I gained 5 pounds, but I felt 10 pounds lighter. Whether reliving old times with friends, sharing current struggles, losses, joys, or accomplishments – there is nothing like the comfort of friends that “get” you.
All of this made me reflect on my current move/transition to a new country, and the slow settling-in process. I have had two conversations over the past two days about how making new friends (especially if you are in the lifestyle of moving often) becomes harder and harder as you age. With this new move it is absolutely ringing true for me. There are tons of fantastic, warm, interesting people here at my new post. However, as I age, the opening up and letting people into my life process is slowing down.
This new phase has given me time to really contemplate the old friendships – and how lucky am I to have tried and true friendships in my life. And I have also come to realize, these relationships need care and cherishing. They don’t just happen by themselves, and if I want something out of them, then I need to make sure and put something in, too. Visiting with old friends made me feel so connected to my roots, to past experiences, while knowing I can look forward to new shared experiences with these people. They will be there for me when I need them and vice versa. I felt so connected, loved, and rewarded by these wonderful people I am lucky to call friends. And as is often the case, the more I put in, the more I got back.
So – to all of you who have moved to a new place and just can’t find your groove with a new crew – reach out to your old crew, often. Go see them if you can. I am sure they are there, ready to support you and send encouragement, share ideas, or just hear you out until you can visit them and have a glass of wine. And to all the friends I connected with on this past trip, I love you!!