We moved around quite a bit when I was little — Maine and Rhode Island and Florida and Massachusetts, all by the time I was 8 years old.
I had a long stretch in one place from age 8 to 15, before we moved from one town to another, about 40 minutes away. That one was difficult on me, and I made it difficult on my parents. I had to change schools during my sophomore year of high school, and it was a tough transition.
From there, I went to college, then to a new home in the same city, then to Florida. And here I’ve been for eight years this June (crazy!).
There have been pros and cons to all of this moving around, but I’ve picked up one skill that I think helps me both personally and professionally — the ability to make friends quickly.
I don’t mind going into rooms where I don’t know anybody, or speaking in front of crowds. I’ve had small circles of close friends and wide circles of sort-of friends in every city.
And I think that’s why I so treasure both new friends and old.
With new friends, I have a blank slate. They don’t know how goofy I was as a kid, or the silly stuff I did in college. They know me as I am now, and make their judgements based on what they learn. I love that. These are the people that know my current hopes and dreams, that recognize the woman I’ve become, and that I call with problems or challenges.
With old friends, I have history. They know my journey, and what led me to become the woman I am today. They share some of the most treasured memories, of campfire songs and middle school crushes; of spring break debauchery and final exam triumphs.
It might surprise some people to know that while I’m outgoing, boisterous and good in crowds, I prefer one-on-one time in a quiet setting. Facebook and email are the best tools for me, because I can see that my friend’s son is cutting his first tooth and my other friend just got promoted, and I don’t have to be part of big reunions to get the information.
I’ve been reflecting recently on how lucky I am to have people that will pick up the phone even after months of silence, and to have people who live down the street that will invite me in just for coffee and chitchat.
And I’m lucky, so lucky, for all of you…I consider you all friends, and I’m so thankful that you’re around.