Life

Proximity friends

Have you ever sat on a plane next to two other single persons of the same age and gender as you and just wondered… In another life, a happenstance where we’re connected somehow, could we have been friends?

Research has shown that the key factor in forming and maintaining friendships is proximity (a friend I made who lived only blocks away from me last year told me that). I’m sitting on a plane as I write this and I look to my left. A blonde with tight curls is leaning across a brunette with her headphones in, taking pictures of the clouds outside the window. A thought strikes me: We are all going to Austin, after all. We already got proximity down. We could be friends.

And now, the curly-haired blonde is opening a book! I peer over subtly. The title on the top of the left page reads The Girl on the Train. What if we were in the same book club? I’m in one. What if she’s reading her book for her own group? I was the last to arrive to my aisle and when I did, the blonde smiled warmly and gave up her seat, moving to the middle instead of making me go through her. She seems like the kind of person whose opinion I’d want in a book club discussion.

The brunette on my far left is nodding her head to the music. I wonder what she’s listening to and if I have the same song on my iTunes library. What if it’s even a favorite of mine? One of those songs that I put on repeat endlessly during nights when I’m alone in my office, shutting out the world to sway to the music freely and to listen to my soul. What if she does that, too?

You ever have moments like that? Where you wonder about the human connections, right in front of you, that you could make, but… just don’t?

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2 thoughts on “Proximity friends

  1. All the time I have moments like that. Even moments when I’ve made a wonderful new friend, who has crossed my path years before, but only just became friends. It makes me realize there really is a time and place when we are ready to accept people in our lives. Each time we are at that point, and take the next step to new friends/places/ideas, we are at another stage in our development. It’s my new “theme” right now, that the person I was is no longer the person I am, even if her experiences built the current me and who I am currently has to be understanding of any “new” experiences.

    In fact, I do believe you are one of those people in my life. I read your articles in the BnB years ago, wishing I can dig into your mind and soul. But I’m glad we’ve only really met more recently, as I am more ready for deeper connections than I was during college.

    Still love your writing, I was hoping to see an update from you soon!

    • That’s so funny. I had the same reaction when I read your articles in BnB after I had graduated. A time and place for every connection, indeed.

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