Skimming Deep

Searching, traveling, talking, reflecting, and exploring. Read along with me as I continue on my journey through life.

Tag: friends

Road Trip, Day Three

Today was probably the hardest day, even though it was the shortest.  The traveling and driving is really getting to me.  I just want to sleep for a long time and not have to drive!  But I’m only about halfway through.

Itinerary: Chicago, IL to St. Louis, MO.
Miles driven: ~300 miles.  That’s nothing!  I used to drive that distance and more to college, by myself, with a car full of stuff!
Highlights: Nice time hanging out with friend E, meeting her son T and having a delicious brunch at M. Henry.  Eating Andy Cap Hot Fries!  Getting to the halfway point of this journey!
Food eaten: fried egg sandwich at M. Henry in Chicago; Hot Fries and peanut M and Ms; amazing ribs, slaw, and ginger ale at Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis.

As stated before, this journey has been really food-focused and we’ve been having an amazing time filling our stomachs with good eats.  Thanks to all my friends near and far for their food recommendations.  Yelp can only be so reliable.  The ribs were a suggestion from an old co-worker.  The brunch was with my friend E and it was delicious.  Definitely no complaints from my stomach.  Hopefully we won’t be gaining 10 pounds!

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I’m feeling blessed to have such good friends:

  • like S who’s driving with me halfway!  What a trooper.
  • like E whom we stayed with in Chicago
  • like L who recommended the amazing Reuben at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor
  • like J who took us to eat buffalo wings in Buffalo
  • like R who recommended Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis
  • and all my amazing friends and family who’ve been reading my blog, commenting, and also sending along well wishes on email, Facebook, and text.  I don’t have enough time to write everyone back, but if you’re reading this, know that I hold ALL of you in my heart and am sending mental hugs and thanks back to you.

K is for “Kindred Spirits”

I first heard this phrase from “Anne of Green Gables,” my favorite book series of all time. I can read that series over and over and always feel heart-warmed and happy again.  Here’s a wonderful quote from the book:

Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.

It’s so true.

I’ve never been one that had one “best friend.”  I had really close friends but through the years, even starting when I was pretty young, I realized how hard it was to keep friends.  Each year, things changed.  Over summer vacation, things changed.  Friendships were always changing and unreliable.  One year, I was “best friends” with a girl, and then the next year, she found another friend or a guy and we lost touch.  So I guess in some ways, I’ve faced my own disappointments related to friends that make it hard to really depend on one person completely.

But I am lucky to now have many friends, different types, who are kindred spirits in so many different ways.

  • Really close friends from college whom I’ve known for almost two decades now!!  Friends I can count on to share my joys and sorrows.  Friends who’ve all moved on with their own lives and families but with whom I can pick right up when I see them, even after many years apart.
  • Friends, mentors, “family” (not blood-related) from when I first moved to Boston who have seen me through so many life challenges and successes.  They’re there to share meals with, to house me when I need a bed, to carpool when my car breaks down, to help me store things when I leave the country for a few months!
  • New friends from within the last few years whom I’ve met through work, through volunteering, through random connections.  Those are some of the kindred spirit connections that just clicked because of similar interests, senses of humor, love of food, and that je-ne-sais-quoi that makes kindred spirits so magical.  You don’t know what it is but you just fit together and enjoy each other’s company.

I like a lot of people.  I didn’t realize this until talking with my cousin this past weekend, and he asked if there was anyone that I didn’t like.  I had a hard time thinking of people I really didn’t like, and when I started to name people, I realized that these are just people who are selfish, self-absorbed, caught up in drama– people that I are generally not well-liked.  But I also realized that I generally like people or at least will think positively of them.  Is this part of my generally optimistic nature?  Do I just not care that much so I have a benign attitude toward people (not a strong feeling of “like” or “dislike”)?  I know I do like to be liked, so maybe I don’t really do things to have strong opinions about or from people.

I’m not always the best judge of character, so I might find a kindred-spirit-ness in someone quickly but then realize that maybe it wasn’t really a connection after all.  In those cases, I just fade away from that person and move on to other company.

Kindred spirit-ness isn’t always apparent right away.  Sometimes it develops over time as I get to know someone and realize how many connections we have.  These slow-developers can be a nice surprise.

I just had dinner with a new kindred spirit whom I met through work, and it was amazing to find out how many connections we had as we talked over a good meal.  Here’s a sampling of what we ate:

  Charred Spanish Sardines on Toasted Tomato Tartine with Mustard Greens and Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette

Kindred spirits are so important to building up one’s own support network.  And it all comes back to being open to whatever comes and trusting that things happen for a reason.  Like with this person I met for dinner and found all these connections with– we met about a year ago through where I work, and we just chatted a few times.  We stayed in touch even after she was no longer associated with my workplace, and it wasn’t anything like a friendship, but more like an acquaintance that was nice to have.  After having dinner last night, though, I can imagine that I’ll stay in touch with her even after my travels because we had that kind of kindred spirit-ness.

I hope to meet many more kindred spirits in my travels.

Laughter and Love

I’ve been having meals with lots of friends lately.  I think it’s the spring air that makes people want to be out, especially after being cooped up all winter.  Also I’m making more of the effort since I know I’m going to be leaving in the next few months.  Maybe it’s also just a desire to reconnect.  In any case, I am reminded how much I love to laugh and eat with those that I care about.  Life is all about LAUGHTER and LOVE.  Aren’t those the joys that we live for?

I haven’t had enough laughter and love in my life lately.  But maybe it’s been there all along and it’s about finding it in the ephemeral moments that you can grab or just let flit by. 

What makes me laugh?

  • a corny joke
  • funny facial expressions
  • silly actions by people who just have no shame
  • a story told just in the right way, with a great punch line
  • random experiences that just catch the funny bone in the right way

We all need to laugh more.  What made you laugh today?


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