One of my oldest friends and I just vacationed together. What good fun it was! I got to share my love of the Pacific Northwest with him and, boy, was that fun! Fundamentally, the test of a true friendship is how quickly you can pick up after you last left off. He and I met when in grad school and we spent oodles of time together along with other mutual friends of ours. To other people, our group appeared quite appealing and sort of hard to enter. Often they'd say, "we like to hang with you guys but whenever we try to, it's like you guys have your own language." And they were right. We did have our own language but it sort of grew organically and almost unbeknownst to us.
It even got to a point where my closest pals learned Italian so that we would have a language in common to communicate. If learning a new language doesn't spell friendship, I don't know what does! They learned quickly and really quite naturally. I suppose another important ingredient to a functional and time-resisting friendship is commitment. And, yup, we got that too!
The thing is, true intimacy, much like a viral video, cannot be planned. It just happens. As I think back on our relationship and connection over time all I can pin it down to is every single one of us having a motor and the respective ability to focus on what each of us were pursuing. And when we'd be done doing that at the end of the day, we'd get together and truly enjoy each other. That's what made our connection so appealing. We've all achieved things in our own right. And we all know what it takes to truly work hard and with purpose. We appreciate and acknowledge each others' hustle. And we know how to push one another. And that's what I look for in a true friend. Can you push me to get better? Can I? If the answer is yes then we're destined to be in each others' lives.
Since I'm training for the marathon - which by the way is tomorrow morning!! - I have a pretty strict training schedule that needs to be on-point without exception. What I really love about my pal is that he just eases into it. And he's uber competitive and wants to not only keep up but beat me. And I cannot express how much I love that!
The very thing we did the very next morning was to hit the road and run for 10km, then pick up a double-seater fiberglass kayak, tie it to my car - one of the best purchases I have ever made! - and explore the Pacific Northwest, rain and all. We saw seals and kayaked in the middle of a rain storm. Such fun!
What we had in common was our respective motors. We all pursued different disciplines. My pal's a neuroscientist, the other pal's a mathematician and I'm the literary scholar. Time would fly as we'd spent it together because we shared a wavelength. Moreover, we discussed various topics nightly, after we were done with our respective studies which we'd often do together and in the same spot. In short, we were joined at the hip.
And with friends like that, it doesn't matter how often you get to spend time together. You will pick up exactly right where you left off.
Case in point. "Hey. How was your flight?"
He: "Great. This is such a great city!"
I: "Dude, really! It'll be so much fun."
And that's it. That's all it took to fastforward to the present moment nd we end up exploring some uninhabited islands in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, rain and all, as we strengthen our bodies with a few bites of Cliff Bars.
And, to me, that's what true friendship is. Connecting with people who share your drive and motor and with whom you can pick up right you left off. Friendship is about supporting each others' pursuits and reams. And I'm so ready for the 42.2km run tomorrow.