I have known a lot of people in my life. Between my numerous jobs, my charming personality (I gest, a little anyway) and my everlasting presence and loyalty to my hometown I will run into people from my past frequently. I like to do this – most of the time anyway. Because it reminds me of who I used to be. And it helps me remember who I have become. And how much further I have to go. And where I have been. And where I plan on going. And how much everything can change so quickly.
Earlier this week, I ran into a dear and old friend. An adult that played a pivotal role in shaping me into the person that I have become. A woman that, to this day, can still make me smile and cry and remember some of the best times of my life.
I was in Target, looking for a new pair of running shoes – strangely enough, at times, when I run I think of this woman because she once bought me a sweatshirt when I was running regularly as a kid because she thought I looked cold. I had just entered the store and was browsing the 1 spot (because isn’t that what everyone does when they first get into Target?). And then I saw her.
And I debated walking away because I hadn’t planned this into my evening and I knew if I said hi we would chat and catch up and it would be wonderful. But I said hello. And it was wonderful.
We talked about our families (her daughter and son who are both older than I am, my brothers and sisters, how my dad apparently looks like Russell Crowe in Les Mis – I haven’t seen it yet, so I can’t say whether I can even see how someone might see a resemblance). We talked about what we were both doing (both in life and at Target). She tried to ask about my social life (of which I have very little right now, but I am hoping to expand). And it was wonderful.
It was familiar and nice and it made me yearn for something that I have been missing for so long. The familiarity of a friendship that lasts that long.
It reminded me that running into an old friend and mentor can make a not-so-great day better, much better.
It caught me off guard, but helped me find the good in things.
And it reassured me that putting myself out there is a very good thing. A very good thing. And that I should keep doing it. Because I could have said nothing and slinked away and not paid any attention. But I’m so glad that I didn’t. And I hope that someday soon, I can meet her for a proper lunch and we can sit down and catch up and I can have news to share with her – good news about life and how things are going and all the things that I know she hopes for me (that so many people hope for me).
Having these run-ins really makes me think. And I love that. Because if I had planned it, it would not have meant nearly as much. So, I’m glad that it was spontaneous and uplifting and just what I needed at that moment. And hopefully what she needed as well.
It was a small reminder of the beauty of life and this crazy world that we all live in.