So I think I made a new friend today.
I had a lunch meeting with a colleague in another department. We have a number of overlapping research interests, and we are both new to the university. It turns out that she and her husband have two boys just about the same age as my two boys. They both love outdoor activities, and like my boys, they do not know anyone else in the area. We agreed that we should get our families together soon.
After living in the same city, more or less, for twenty years, it’s a bit odd not to know anyone. That’s not entirely true, of course. My wife does have relatives in the area (and if you count second and third cousins, she has a lot of relatives up here).
But friends are something else.
I think I’ve said it before, but to be honest, there isn’t a lot that I miss about Atlanta.
Banh mi sandwiches. My climbing gym. And my friends.
And not necessarily in that order.
The good news is: I don’t really have to say goodbye to my friends in Atlanta. They are very much knit into the person I have become over all those years–and I’d like to think that I’ve become a part of their lives as well. But I also know that I will continue to grow and change and blend into this new life of ours that is just starting off. And I know that I will find new like-minded friends with whom I will be sharing this journey.
It’s probably true, though, that the friendships I make at this stage in my life–at the start of my fiftieth year–will have a different texture to them than friendships from an earlier decade. It’s hard to imagine growing as close to new friends as I grew to the people I shared my daily life with in my thirties and forties.
But then again, I am sure that there is something new to be learned in the friendships I make now. And I’m looking forward to discovering just what those relationships will bring.