Ever since I first left home for college, I have had a recurring desire: that friends dear to me from one setting should meet friends dear to me from another. When I made friends in college, I well remember fervently wishing that my high school friends should have the opportunity to meet and like them as well. I have often thought, since those days of first leaving my childhood home, that it was a particularly pleasing event when friends from different portions of my life should meet and be acquainted and be pleasing to each other.
I know several people who seem to never look back at their lives, who appear incapable or not desirous of getting back in touch with old friends or reaching out in the hopes of mending breaches with old friends. I am not one of those people. If I could find them, I would gladly reach out to a whole slew of individuals that I had some relationship with in the past, cared about in some way or another, and with whom time, distance, or circumstance has created a breach or absence.
This weekend I enjoyed a particularly pleasing reunion. If you follow my blog or know me personally, you have heard how frustrating and ill-fitting was the work that occupied my days the last two years. When I tendered my resignation and quit my employment, it was a palpable load that was lifted from my heart. Yet I have been surprised at how often my thoughts have turned to a remembrance of my former colleagues, some who went through training with me, some who shared their expertise with me when I was in dire need of their guidance, some whose friendly banter I have missed.
Two such colleagues, who sat two desks away from me in either direction in the salt mines, have often come to mind. These were not ordinary women. They were extraordinary colleagues who with good humor and kindness and the occasional jaunty expletive bailed me out time and again when my aging and sorry wits could not untangle the problems presented to me by customers. I have often recounted tales of our days together in the salt mines of the dreaded-technical-call-center to my best friend and husband.
Finally, an invitation was offered, accepted, and on Saturday evening my former colleagues and their loves came over to our house for dinner. What fun it was to introduce my husband to these smart, funny women who had helped me retain some shreds of sanity and humor during a time in my life that was stressful and seemingly unending.
What a pleasure to be able to introduce my husband to these four women and spend a leisurely evening over a tasty supper while the stories flowed and the glasses were refilled. Had I never worked in this particular salt mine, there is little reason to think that my path would have ever crossed the paths of my two former colleagues. Yet I did work there. Our paths did cross. Our working relationship fostered respect and friendship.
Getting together over a meal was a blessing. It was also remarkably fun.