Like everyone, I think often about the relationships I have, and those that I have had and lost. I think about the ways in which relationships transform and grow, or not. I think about the relationships that I want to invest in, and those I may not.

The conference I just returned from revealed a lot to me about my relationships with people. It was at my alma mater, and a strange confluence of events resulted in about 20 people from my undergraduate years returning to that place. These were people in my same department and program–people with whom I had spent a lot of time … nearly two decades ago.

Many of these same people were at this conference when I went the last time 5 years ago, and I realized that my emotions were entirely different then than they were this time. 5 years ago, I had minimal interactions with these people–a brief hello and chit-chat about how things were going in our lives. That felt deeply unfulfilling, and it left me feeling on the outskirts of friend groups, like I had lost something meaningful that I had thought was still there from all those years ago.

This time, I had those same brief interactions, but the sum total of those 20 hugs and hellos and quick chats felt good–amazing, even. I realized that it’s enough to recognize a shared history and simply be glad in the moment to be seeing that person’s face again two decades later. It’s enough just to do a quick catch-up and be thankful to be in the same space. I left those encounters knowing that I really don’t want anything more than that, and that I’m blessed to have such a wide net of connections in this life.

I also did get to have several truly meaningful and profound conversations with a handful of very close friends who were in attendance, and that felt even more sacred after the past few years.

I think that the times have changed, certainly. Covid has made us all more grateful for times together like this. But, I think also that I have changed. I’ve made peace with what is and am living more in the moment with gratitude for the history I’ve had and the people I’ve known.

Day 30.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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