Gold & Silver

Remember the Girl Scout song we sang when we were young? “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” When was the last time you made a new friend? I know, it’s easy to hang with the pals you’ve known forever. They understand you, know about all your foibles, and accept you the way you are. Likewise, you know your old friends inside out. They’re comforting to hang around, but they don’t surprise you much anymore.

Making a new friend means saying goodbye to your comfort zone. You put yourself out there without knowing for sure whether the person you just met wants to know you better. Luckily, most times, we can tell the difference. It’s like there’s a click or a surge of energy that runs between you and your new acquaintance. Sometimes it feels like you’ve already met somewhere. You sense some level of recognition, a feeling like you already know each other.

New Age aficionados would say the reason you feel connected to someone you’ve just met is that you probably knew this person in a past life. Some woo-woo folks believe we are all part of very unique “soul clusters,” groups of souls that we travel through time with. So someone who’s your child currently might have been your best friend in a previous life. I’m not sure about all that, but I do know there are people whose paths I’ve crossed that I instantly am drawn to. I’m sure you’ve had the same feeling.

If your circle of friends is feeling a little stale, maybe it’s time to get out there and find some new friends. Not sure where to look? First, think about your interests. If you’re like me, these have changed over the years—which might be why you have less in common with your old friends now than back in the day. Perhaps you recently discovered yoga or horseback riding. Suddenly, the potential for meeting new people has doubled, and all it takes is a little courage and the ability to put yourself in a vulnerable position.

It’s not that hard. If you meet someone new and you hit it off, ask her if she wants to meet for coffee and a chat. It’s that easy. When you meet, enjoy the old-fashioned art of conversation and keep your cell phone off and out of sight. There’s nothing worse that meeting someone for a friendly visit and watching her interact with her cell phone instead of being present in the moment with you.

What do you talk about? Your shared interests, of course. You might be surprised to find out how much you have in common. You’ll know your new friend is a keeper if she fills you with enthusiasm and excitement and inspires you to reach new heights. For isn’t that what friends are for? To help you find your way through the maze called life. When you get to a dead end, a true friend helps you find an alternate path, which truly is the very one you are supposed to be on.

The fact is we can’t do everything on our own. We need people to help us find fulfillment in life. If you are feeling stuck in a rut, seek out a new friend and make a date for coffee or a walk in the woods. It will do your soul good. Happy Thanksgiving!               

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Peggy Sijswerda

Tidewater Women Magazine, Editor & Co-Publisher.

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