Wednesday, November 30, 2011


It isn't my birthday - that passed about a week ago.  Today, however, was the birth date of a dear friend and I realized that we've known each other now through a good chunk of our forties.  We met in grad school - both of us returning to academia for a new career after years of doing other things.  He worked in the high tech world - I had been a stay at home mom.  We became friends - bonding over intense group dynamics that had been best discussed after class with margaritas. We became colleagues working as intern counselors at the same agency.  Silly skits, brilliant insights, vulnerable egos - all part of our grad school experience. 
I sat with my friend over a cup of coffee this morning.  We haven't seen each other for awhile and didn't spend too much time wondering why.  There was an acceptance of life circumstances, almost a shrug of the shoulder from both of us that didn't diminish the deep care and enjoyment of each other's company.  It seemed like the empty chairs around us filled with others equally loved and enjoyed - friends whom we share; whose voices could still be heard within our own catching up. He talked about one of our fellow grad friends, motioning with his hands and I could see her in my mind's eye.  I smiled, yes - that's exactly what she would do.
What I especially loved about sharing time with my friend was recognizing the differences in who we are now from who we were six years ago.  Both of us are now closer to fifty - it's just around the corner - and yet I don't think what I was feeling was particularly related to how old we are. It could be - but I'm not quite willing to take a stand on that.
The best way I can put it is to say that I experienced an acceptance of self in his stories as well as my own.  It was no longer - who am I going to try to be in the world; it is now: How is this person that I am going to explore and be myself in this world around me?
We sipped coffee, smiling softly as if sharing a grand secret: Life is good.

Happy Birthday, my friend.

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