Why Bother With New Friendships?
I wasn’t necessarily looking for a friend when a very pretty and pregnant young woman introduced herself to me the first time I visited the same church she attended. But the minute she shook my hand with a friendly welcoming greeting, her smile told me that we’d somehow become close sidekicks. And we did. That baby she was carrying, he’s now forty-years-old and his mom and I are the best of friends.
Another friendship began when I answered a knock at my front door. This woman wondered if I happened to homeschool my kids. She lived just around the corner and schooled her three young kids from home as well. From then on, we joined forces. We bounced our educational dilemmas off of each while taking early morning jogs and shared our talents with one another’s kids. She introduced my sons to the joy of skiing while I showed her daughter how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Though our kids are now adults and my friend no longer lives in the neighborhood, our friendship remains. When we get together, we pick up where we last left off, as though no time has elapsed between our past and present visit.
What More Do I Need?
Although I was not looking for a new friend, I’ve gained one. Unlike the other two, this friendship took shape via a virtual interview. We needed to replace a teacher at our school who had relocated to another state and I was on the hiring committee. We’d already interviewed two candidates in person, but a third interviewee opted for a virtual conference because of travel complications.
I was surprised. The connection I made with this woman, although not in person, was personable. I sensed in her the same genuineness that I admired in my other two close friends. I told myself that if this woman were hired as a new teacher at our school, she and I would become good friends. And we have.
She moved into a home just a few blocks from me and we began carpooling to work. As with any new friendship, our conversations started out on the surface but they didn’t stay there for very long. Our level of communication has deepened and now as with my other two friends, there is mutual understanding, admiration, and respect.
Why bother with new friendships? I can never predict when a connection with someone will click into place and we will become close confidants. But when it happens, I somehow know the connection is worth keeping.