The following is one of a series of guest posts from wonderful people in my network who stepped up to write while I'm travelling (in this case spending the week with my kids). If you'd like to join the cadre of guest writers, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently reconnected with an old friend. A friend with whom I shared many great memories of growing up in a small town here on Vancouver Island. Days turned into months, and months into years, and we eventually lost touch. Life gets busy, and you often forget to connect with friends even with the help of Facebook.
Recently my life has been about getting out there and meeting new people. I have tried to share a conversation with at least one new person a day. I love the adrenalin rush I get when I meet someone new. The idea that this stranger knows nothing about me, and I know nothing about them. That in that precise moment when conversation starts, I’m trusting myself to portray the right version of me. I love learning about what motivates people, what their passions are, what they do for work. The thrill of the conversation is exciting and I am eagerly scooping up their words like a fat kid in a candy store.
This has been my habit recently, so much so that I had forgotten what a gift it can be to communicate with an old friend. Someone who knew you before all the life-changing events of your 20s, and all the crazy adventures you’ve had since you moved away from that small town. Many years of life separated you, and so you spend time catching up and filling in the blanks.
At the end of the conversation, one of two things happens. The first possibility being that you both realize how completely different the two of you are and just how much you’ve grown apart. Thereafter casually scheduling a lunch date for sometime in the future, only to never follow through. The second possibility being the irrefutable feeling that although two of you have changed as people, your friendship has stayed the same. The feeling of comfort knowing that this person knows you. The ease of not having the choose the appropriate version of yourself to portray because this person has already seen your worst self. The fun retelling and reminiscing of stories has a remarkable way of reminding of all the wonderful people you have known throughout your life, and just how fortunate you are to still have old friends in your life. In this world of emails, tweets, Facebook, text messages, and chatting with strangers, nothing quite compares to the feeling of familiarity you get from sitting across the table from an old friend, and not having to choose which person you will be today.