Friday, August 26, 2005

Old Friends

One of the best parts of my North Carolina trip was visiting old friends. The first friend I visited was Lisa--my doppelganger, if I ever had one. A typical Lisa/Sam phone conversation after a brief greeting:

"Sam, do you believe in true love?"
"You mean one true love?"
"Yes, one true love."
"Well, I don't know about one..."


"Lisa, do you think people can actually change?"
"Well, how do you mean?"
"Do you think people change or just recognize parts of themselves they were never comfortable with before?"

Other than being my partner in all crazy life-questioning, she is also my partner in eating. In college, we would celebrate the end of the semester by going out to a big dinner and choosing a book for the other to read during the break before class started again. And my favorite thing about our friendship is that we haven't seen each other in a few months, but we pick up as if we saw each other yesterday. We can talk about the most serious of things in such an honest way, but can laugh for hours, too.

I ended my North Carolina trip with a visit to my friend Brooke. I have always admired Brooke because I have never met someone who knows herself so well. She is unbelievably grounded in everything that she does. I saw where she is working and going to school now, and we went hiking with a group of her friends. I told her as I was leaving that it was wonderful to see a friend who had built such a wonderful life for herself. She also convinced me to think of some other career choices for my post-New York life...who knows what will happen then, but I won't be surprised at all if Brooke has some influence on my decision.

And one of the reasons I cut my North Carolina trip short was that my friend Kendra, who just returned from the Peace Corps, is in New York City this week. I haven't seen Kendra since she visited me in Memphis, well over two years ago. She is another one of my friends who consistently amazes me. Two days ago we spent the entire afternoon together, making pasta, going to the park, and talking nonstop about our usual topics: jobs, boyfriends, family, clothes, new words for the dictionary we want to make (not nearly as nerdy as it sounds.) And she still has a few more days here in the city!

You may wonder why I'm going on and on about my friends. Not only do I feel fortunate to have such incredible people in my life, but I am intrigued by what binds people to one another. Lisa, Brooke, and Kendra are just three of the people who occupied my college bubble: that strange campus-centric community. We have gone in very different directions. It was great to see the way their lives have progressed, the new worlds they occupy. And it was astonishing how different it was from my own world here. I may never know what makes it so that these are three of the people I really stayed close to, as opposed to some others that I thought would be in my life forever but never make appearances of any sort now. But I'm sure that I will be calling Lisa to analyze it more in the near future.

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