I am not easy to get to know.

There are many reasons for this—I’ve given it lots of thought over the years—but mostly, it requires a certain amount of vulnerability. And I don’t do that well. Coupled with the fact that I’ve managed to create a life full of busy-ness, this is not always conducive to making deep friendships.

I thought about this yesterday, as I was having breakfast with my friend Kathryn. We worked together years ago and were friendly enough, the way coworkers sometimes are. When she left that job and moved away, we lost touch, until last year when she was coming to town and reached out to say hello and to see if I wanted to meet up for lunch.

We met and spent an afternoon walking around the city and catching up. In the span of a few hours, we developed a deep bond, the kind where someone sees you, hears you, understands you.

We’ve stayed in touch, and she’s reached out many times since whenever she’s in town.  I, of course, have been too busy to make a plan. All perfectly valid reasons for why I couldn’t be spontaneous.

Finally, this weekend, I had the time.

As we caught up yesterday over eggs and smoked salmon, she spoke animatedly about what was going on in her life.  At one point she paused.

“I gotta tell you,’ she began.  “I’m so glad we can stay in touch and get together, when there are so many reasons not to.”

It made me think.  How many opportunities have i missed to get to know someone because of my schedule?  Perhaps busy isn’t a good enough reason to not develop friendships.

But i also know it’s deeper than that.  Sometimes it’s easier to be busy than it is to be open.

After breakfast, we walked through Central Park before I left her where she was staying.  We talked about relationships.  At one point I said, “You know we’ll see a few brides today.”  There are always brides in Central Park, especially on a beautiful weekend day.

We said our goodbyes, and I ran some errands.  As I made my way back home, i once again walked through the park.  Sure enough, my prediction came true.

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I looked at that couple and thought, it takes a special kind of vulnerability to get married.  I wondered if I could ever be that unguarded, that open.

Maybe I could start with my friends.

And then I thought, friendships are just as important—sometimes more—than romantic relationships.  Maybe I could open up just a little bit more.   Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to try.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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