It’s not by accident, I think, that I grew up with the notion that as I matured, my opportunity and desire to meet new people, make new friends, would decrease. The Common Conversation, my seconds-ago, made-up term for unspoken cultural norms and expectations that hovers a like swollen cloud over our hearts, lives, and dreams, convinced me that life as an adult would not be so much lonely as complete. Things falling into place –click, click, click– like those red and yellow discs in the game Connect Four.
I’d take my gold friends -couple from high school, a few more from college- and shine ’em up once in a while. Done.
I think I was maybe four years out of college before I realized that a number of factors made my above assumption just not true (for me.)
1.) College town: there’s about a billion (just over fifty) here in greater Boston area. All those smart/clever/engaged/engaging/inspired/inspiring people coming and going. Some of whom get snagged in the net that trows behind me even when I think it’s not.
2.) Work: Duh! There are people at work. More importantly, folks whose values match mine, whose interests and desires I share. Even if I tried, I could not resist deepening some of these connections -and the choice is not always mine. Also, I’m a community worker, which brings us to . . .
3.) I like people: Isn’t it funny to rediscover what you long-knew in a wordless kind of way?
So, in the cold, cranky, over-educated city where I’ve heard people describe difficulty breaking into culturally, and where I’ve heard other people claim a depth of connection that they could not quite achieve elsewhere, I continue to fall down the rabbit hole. Silver, all the way.