Recharging With Friends
This past weekend, I visited another city to see some of my closest friends from high school and college. I attended a boarding high school for 10th-12th grades and so had a unique opportunity to befriend, live with, and grow with the kids I met there. Even now three years out of high school, the friends I made there remain among my closest and most treasured friendships.
While I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to live in Boston and feel comfortable calling the city my temporary home, I have been challenged to stay true to myself while exploring a new place. My preferred PBS dramas have fallen by the wayside as I’ve bonded with my Boston roommates over episodes of “America’s Got Talent” and “Say Yes to the Dress”, and I haven’t been to a farmer’s market in weeks, preferring instead to pop into Trader Joe’s after work with (apparently) every other intern in Boston. While I’m grateful that I fit in to the Boston student/intern scene, I have been struggling with which aspects of my personality do or should stay constant and which aspects can or should adapt to new environments.
When I finally reunited with my best friend over brunch, I felt myself slip into “my” personality with her. It was a relief to be back with someone else who shares my sense of humor, banter, and general observations about the world. As we chatted, I found myself reverting back to our old jokes and commentary and felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders when I didn’t need to fake interest in reality TV and could share with excitement which book I’m looking forward to reading. Meeting up with and spending a weekend with her and some other friends was an excellent way to recharge my battery to come back to Boston ready to be “me” again.
My experiences this weekend reminded me of the importance of lifelong friendships. My friends keep me grounded, remind me of who I am, and are fantastic cheerleaders for one other as we grow up and move into first jobs, first apartments, and first adult responsibilities. If you’ve been lucky enough to make quality friendships at any stage of life, treasure them. Stay in contact with friends who are far away, but understand that every friendship goes through changes as you all get older and experience different events. My personality as a 21-year old is very different from whom I was at age 15, but the strongest friendships have been able to survive change.
Many elementary school students learn the adage “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold”. That saying still rings true for me now; as I boarded my bus to return to Boston, I felt thankful that I was able to see a truly golden friend to help me re-center myself back to the person I want to be.