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And check out my joint blog with the love of my life and writing partner Dmytry Karpov: Kimberly ♥ Dmytry

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Unexpected Encounters of the Best Kind

Moving into a new community is the grown-up equivalent of the first day at a new school. Will I make friends? How long will it take me to settle in to my new routine? Will it be hard to find all the places I need to go? Will I like it? There's the excitement and the fear all mixed together. For those of us who liked school (OK, I'm still a bit of a nerd), it was an adventure.

And so it is that I am on a new adventure, in my new home and community. This isn't just another Anywhere, USA with a McD's on every corner and streets that all look the same. I now live in the country, where the nearest McD's is too far for convenience (thank goodness) and nobody delivers pizza to my house (much to my dismay on moving day!) No movie theater, no shopping malls and only a few street lights.

I LOVE it! I came here knowing one friend. My closest friend. Fortunately, she's very well connected and has helped with the transition. But still, we're not tied at the hip. We do live on the opposite ends of town and don't actually see each other all that often. I still have to create my own routines, and make my own friends. And I am. In unexpected ways.

My first new friend actually let me and my daughter stay at his house while house-hunting. He and his family were on vacation. I didn't even meet him in person until I had been here a few weeks, but he and his family are now neighbors and have been instrumental in getting my daughter to school on sick days, or the week my car was in the shop.

I made one new friend taking my puppy and cats in for their shots. Our daughters are now great friends. I made another potential friend while taking my kids to the town Christmas celebration. We have daughters in the same class, a mutual interest in writing and shared a very long line to Santa that night. Another friend helps me clean my house for service or product trades.

And tonight, I made a new friend. She was a babysitting referral from another woman whom I'm sure to find some level of friendship with, though we've yet to meet in person. She wasn't available the day I needed a sitter, but our phone conversation made it clear that we might enjoy each other's company. So, I invited her to dinner. We had a lovely time and I was happy to introduce her to the world of blogging and facebook. I look forward to seeing her writing life grow. I look forward to spending more time with her.

Most of these friendships have just been planted. But they are growing. In the past few months I have enjoyed the benefits of giving and receiving the affection and help of a small community. People I don't know or know very little have gone out of their way to help me during difficult times. I have in turn helped others when I can. I am putting myself in the world in the most authentic way I can and allowing love to move in my life.

The last few years I spent so much time working to make money and support my family that I lost touch with myself, my children, and my community. I just didn't have the time or energy to be involved. I've made many changes in my life that are now allowing me to reconnect to the people and activities that matter the most. And so, as I move through the year in my new playground, I realize that it's not that bad being the new kid. If I stay real, and reach out with love and good will, I receive that back in abundance. I also receive friends who have many of the same values and priorities as I...which allows for mutual growth. That's the best kind of adventure I can imagine.

How can you reach out to someone new this week? What kind of friends do you attract to your life?