â€œTo know someone here or there
with whom you can feel there is understanding
in spite of distances or thoughts unexpressed
That can make this life a gardenâ€
~ attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Iâ€™ve always considered myself a loner. I was a wallflower during my school years, with my brother my closest friend due to our moves. Especially when coming to the U.S. I didnâ€™t particularly fit in to the social groups.
While I have learned to navigate crowds and can make cheerful small talk in group settings, I prefer deeper conversations in smaller group or one-on-one settings.
My nuclear family has been my constant in my life, and that is where my lifelong friendships have lasted. I also had very dear friends during specific periods in my life. They were there daily when I needed them, but less involved later in life. And then there are those you meet later in life, yet you feel youâ€™ve known them since birth.
As I consider my support network, I realize I have made far more friends over the years than I would give my introverted, home body self credit for. With Facebook and LinkedIn I can review the statistical number of friends and acquaintances I have. Even when subtracting the overlaps and adding the friends I donâ€™t have a social networking link to, I still come up with a three-digit figure.
The other amazing thing I realize is that with these reconnections made online or in person, the true friends just pick up where we left off. It doesnâ€™t matter that we havenâ€™t spoken for decades or that our lives have taken entirely different turns. The kindred spiritedness still shines through.
So thank you, friends, for supporting and sheltering me through all these years. Itâ€™s been a pleasure knowing you, and I look forward to growing our relationships over the course of our lives.
â€œFriendship is a sheltering treeâ€
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge