gratitude for new friends

last night a friend and i were riding the subway home after class. he turned to me and asked something along the lines of "how are you? where is your head at? it seems like you may be chewing on some things."

i forget how over the last few years my face has become more clear. you usually know when i am mad or sad or distracted now if you know me well. i can't really hide it.

i answered honestly and we chatted and when it was my stop, i hugged him and left. but as i walked toward home, i realized i was filled with gratitude that he had checked in and that he is a friend now. a lovely, wonderful friend.

i've only been living in new york city for fifteen months. i was born here, but it hasn't been my home that long (and also it has been my home forever and my parents have been here the entire time so...am i being confusing?). i had friends here when i moved and i sort of expected that those would be my friends. and they are. i've reconnected with a number of old friends and they are wonderful and everything i am about to say pertains to them too...but...

i had no idea that i'd make new friends.

making new friends as an adult is hard. we have our little communities. sometimes we don't branch out even if a new potential friend is in our field or in our building. and so i didn't know that the majority of people i'd invite to my housewarming are people i didn't know a year ago. that the women who would take care of me less than 24 hours after my breakup (and on an almost weekly basis even now) would be ladies who i barely spoke to regularly six months before. that after class last week, another grad school classmate of mine would ask "are you okay? you know we are here for you, right?".

i had no idea how quickly i'd become close to some of these people. i had no idea how they would support me and be there for me and laugh with me and cry with me. i had no idea about the family dinners, the late night drinks, the walking around to see leaves, the making pies, the dancing after closing night of shows...

i had no idea how grateful i would be to have them in my life.

but i am. so grateful. so grateful that they are my friends now during this crazy amazing time in my life when everything feels in flux and out of whack and yet like it is taking off and landing in wonderful ways.

sometimes life feels a little lonely. often it does nowadays. but i know on some level i am far from being alone because, as corny as it sounds, i have people in my life, friends, who love me and are there for me.

and for that, i am thankful.