Taking Time to Connect

I spent last weekend in Galveston, TX with my closest friends from high school. Only half of us still live in Texas, so one of us couldn’t make it, but still it was the first time in almost 25 years I had been with this many of them all at once and for more than just lunch. Honestly, I was totally excited and also a teensy bit nervous about how it would all go. I shouldn’t have been. We slipped right back into just the easiest flow of conversation, with a million things to talk about, to catch up on and connect over. We were silly, we were serious, and all of it was so easy and all decision-making was simple. I had forgotten how little drama had ever existed in this group of gals. Granted, most of the decisions were about what and when to eat and drink:

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Margs, not all with tequila. photo by Ahri Kim Chang
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Lunch. photo by Ahri Kim Chang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and when to hit the beach:

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Betty the Dog represents. Photo by Ahri Kim Chang

 

My heart feels totally full, and I can’t wait to do it again. How simple and joyful it all was, well, it was frankly totally surprising. Especially considering not only how long it had been, but also how different from one another we all are, coming from all corners of the political and religious spectrum, certainly not necessarily sharing one another’s world views. And that has got me thinking about two things.

1) Connection, and how massively important and life-affirming it is. It’s so easy to stay in our routines and not break out. Time flies by quickly–we have been talking about this reunion for ages and finally got it together–and I think we all ended up wondering why we didn’t do it sooner. Also, and amazingly, outside of connecting with spouses and kids (and of course the intermittent FB posting of some fun pics), none of us were on our devices at all. I certainly didn’t miss it or feel like I was missing out on a thing. There was no digital surfing, the TV wasn’t turned on once, and there was no binge watching of anything – just staying up to a million o’clock being fully present: cooking, eating, talking, walking & sitting on the beach.

2) Being open and accepting. The irony is not lost on me how the wonderful social media platform that brought us back together is the same vehicle that tends to drive we humans apart and into our silos. I know that I find myself in an echo chamber, with a curated (by me and the algorithm) newsfeed of content that speaks to my views and values. This weekend reminded me that it doesn’t have to be so scary or daunting or even frustrating to hang around with friends who don’t necessarily share your views. There’s actually more–so much more–to life and true connection than just that.

I know we can’t always meet up at a beach with long time friends for a weekend, but I would encourage you to explore what you can do to shake things up, break out of your routine (here’s a link to another post on that!) to connect in a meaningful way with other friends–longtime ones and new–IRL, even if it initially feels outside of your comfort zone. I know I definitely will.

 

 

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