Have you ever met someone and made an instant, almost “feels like family” connection?
I met with one of these “new old friends” this week.
I met J_____ a few weeks ago at a rubber chicken luncheon where I was speaking. She introduced herself as a fellow writer after I spoke and we exchanged business cards.
We agreed to meet for “pho”.
I’m there mere moments before she is. When she arrives she hugs me. That feels pretty good but it occurs to me that I’m hugging a stranger, something I would never have done 20 years ago! My, how I’ve grown!
In just over an hour, we discover remarkable intersections on our journeys. We have both nursed sick husbands, raised children and are actively involved in our grandchildren’s lives, though hers are boys and mine are girls.
She doesn’t look or act like a granny. Neither do I. But our enthusiasm for those little people oozes from both of us.
We have worked in many of the same industries. Politics and media are among our commonalities.
We have both accomplished much without expensive educations. Ours is self-directed through devouring books from an eclectic range of genres and taking courses that genuinely interest us, not fluff that meets program requirements.
We share our admiration for our city: she returns home after 25 years away; I adopted it as my home 18 years ago.
We agree we don’t see the point of retirement, especially if it means doing nothing. We’ve both done so many things and neither of us plans to slow down anytime soon.
She is on a mission to learn everything she can about the oil sands. I won a contest with my speech, “My Opinion of the Oil Sands“.
But what really resonates with me is her joy. She chooses to be happy despite the typical tears and tribulations of a life on this planet.
We share food which seems to be an intimate action for two women who have just met. I enjoy the incongruence of that.
We end with another great hug.
On my way home I bask in the warm glow of a budding friendship with someone whose story I feel I already know, yet I’m intrigued to learn more.
It feels a bit like a first date and there is chemistry.
It’s nice to have a new thread to weave into my life’s tapestry. Who knows what image will emerge?
Here’s to old friends and new friends, new old friends and old old friends, young friends and old friends. Thank you for enriching my life!