“Do you have anything special planned?” A voice to my left inquired as we both plucked red-hued cards from the shelf and slipped them back into place, one by one.
“No,” I responded with a slight chuckle, “my boyfriend and I aren’t big on the overly-commercialized holidays. We both appreciate a good card, though.” The young woman next to me beamed in silent exclamation.
She began talking about how silly it is that so many people bottle up their affections all year long, saving up for one major transaction on February 14th. “If you love someone, you should find small ways to show them you care all the time.” I nodded in agreement, thrilled to meet someone who seemed to understand.
Our twenty minute conversation delved into school and career, budgeting and prioritization, our failing education system and the value of mentorship, the preference for experiences over gifts, the best hiking day trips, water systems and sustainability, means of effective communication, and our favorite places around town. We could have talked for hours, but she was running late to meet her boyfriend for an early Valentine’s date at a local pottery painting studio.
We exchanged contact info, shared a hug and parted ways. Last night, with no effort, I made a new friend.
“Take time first thing to visualize an incredible day.” — Robin Howard
This week has been particularly rough. I have struggled through each day, early nights have been supplemented by per-dinner naps and I’ve been feeling particularly discouraged. However, these same challenging days have been filled with not-so-subtle reminders to stay positive, acknowledge my blessings, visualize happiness and remain open. These daily messages have grounded me, provided hope and now, it seems, helped me manifest an absurdly beautiful reality.
When I told my boyfriend that I’d made a new friend, he immediately asked whether it was a squirrel or a dog. Oh, jeez! “No!” I shouted as I leaned in closer to his face, “She’s a real person! …a friend.” (In the hubby’s defense, I probably talk to Nibbles the ground squirrel and Eddie Lizard more than most characters in my life, so his question was perfectly valid. But still…)
I’ve always been introverted and exerting energy into developing new friendships has not been a top priority as I focus on rest and healing. Meeting new people and making new friends is a big dream for this year, though it has admittedly felt terribly out-of-reach. Yet, here I am, a few days into a new morning visualization practice and impossibility literally walked up to me and said, “hello!”
Based on our brief conversation, I feel like this young lady is my soul sister–someone I could learn from and grow alongside. While I truly hope that this experience represents a budding new friendship, I will still be perfectly satisfied if the road ends here. After asking the universe for a sign and trusting that it would provide, a sweet young lady in the Valentine’s aisle noticed my open heart and opened up hers in return.