“Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet.” While horrific to some, this is a personal catchphrase. I believe the world is filled with so many wonderful, unique individuals to meet. And think of the variety of places you could meet them! At a coffee shop, in an airport lounge, by the snack bar at a coworker’s housewarming, or in the park down the street from a new dance studio.
That is—until the pandemic began.
In this new existence, I began cultivating established relationships through Zoom hangouts and FaceTime calls. But meeting a new friend? That notion was placed in a box and sealed shut until 2022—right next to “hugs” and “blowing out birthday candles.”
So, I was surprised to discover that this globally shared experience did foster new connections in my life. The game of “We’re Not Really Strangers” that deepened my friendship with an acquaintance after we exchanged personal anecdotes (the game’s pièce de résistance). The Antakshari circle birthed by Instagram, spanning over six different time zones and professionals in the music industry. The neighbors I never noticed before, but now to whom I wave enthusiastically on my daily walks.
I even went a step deeper and finally, with clear eyes, examined the friendship I had with myself. Being kind to myself when I made mistakes. Delving more time and space into what interested me. Taking a giant pause as a reset to sing “You’ve Got a Friend In Me” to the mirror (okay, maybe not that last one literally…but I had to sneak Disney in somehow).
I’d love to know—how have you found friendship—with yourself, or others—in these times? Were you able to strengthen an existing relationship, or reconnect with an old friend? Did you meet someone new? Let us know in the comments!
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