In a few days I will be leaving, with my husband, Steve, for Budapest, Hungary, a country I have never been to and know some, but not a lot, about. I’ll be teaching in a high school, something I have also never done. We will be picked up by my boss and brought to our new apartment which is less than 500 square feet. I’m leaving the comfort of my home, my children and grandchildren and my wonderful, supportive friends, to embark on this new unknown journey.
When I think about the challenges I’ll face, the top one is starting over developing friendships with new women. My women friends are and have always been the touchstones in my life. When I was growing up my mother had lots of lifelong women friends and she was always doing things with them. She was a true role model for having and keeping women friends. During my adolescents my mother would always say, “It’s your women friends, well she probably said girlfriends, who are important. Hold on to them, cherish them, honor them and all else will fall into place.” I have lived my life with that in mind.
A few weeks ago I celebrated my dear friend Debby’s 70th birthday. We have been friends for our entire lives because our mothers were best friends. At the celebration two other friends, Joan and Mame, where there. They have also been in my life for more than 5 decades. These women, along with my sister, know me like no others and even though we don’t see each other that often these days, time means nothing. We simply pick up where we left off and the friendship only deepens.
I have been faced with this challenge of meeting and developing friendships with women several times. It always works out and I find myself creating bonds and finding common ground and forging meaningful relationships. When I return in 10 months all those friends that I left behind will still be in my life. Thanks in part to email, SKYPE and Facetime we will stay in touch. Some of them will have visited and others will have had their own amazing adventures. What I do know is that I will heed my mother’s words and I will hold on to my women friends, cherish them, honor them and I will trust that all else will fall into place.
Stay in touch and I will too.
With love and gratitude,