Monday, September 16, 2013


This week I suddenly got a funny kind of feeling. Maybe it was after I went to the third bar in a week to watch the third football game with the same group of guys.  Maybe it was after I looked at photos of my dearest friends sending off part of their heart to another state, and how I just ached to be part of it, to cry with them and remember the good times and remind each other the best is yet to come.  Somewhere in the midst of a workweek, homesickness crept up on me in the worst way, because I found myself being short with my husband, and feeling sad, and not knowing how or when it all started.

I tried to think of an analogy tonight to describe what moving has meant for me, but nothing seemed to fit.  The older you get, I think, the harder it gets to make new friends.  I suppose it's because you're further removed from kindergarten, when you first learn those kind of things.  I do know, though, now that I've had time to think on it and an entire church service to have a good, puffy-eyed, awkward cry over it, that it has been eight years since I've really had to make friends.  And even eight years ago it was easy, because everyone was the same as me, young and naive and unknown and ready to change.  And it was also easy because I had dear, beautiful people pursuing friendship with me on purpose, people who would become lifelong friends.

But now, I'm here, hoping that there is planted in me somewhere a friend-making gene.

When I think really hard, and try to be really honest, and squint my eyes a little, I can remember that the friendships I have in Boston actually were hard-won.  They were formed like a geologic event, with time and pressure and friction.  It is easy to make those rock formation kind of friends when you are forced by circumstance and city and community to live in close quarters.  But no, it didn't come any easier than I suppose it will here.  And isn't that the point after all?  Don't the most important things in life, all relationships really, slowly etch out over time like the Grand Canyon, making a place for themselves in otherwise independent people, smoothing out rough places and creating depth and width?  These are the things that make it worthwhile to stand still for a while.

So stand still I will, through many awkward conversations that get more natural by the day, through the not knowing and the not being known, and through the hours of small talk.  And little by little, unknown to me, streams will smooth away all the not knowing and I just may find myself looking up one day at layered canyon walls.

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