Back in the Bay Area this week, I have been enjoying more reunions – but nothing formal like my college reunion. These have just been intimate gatherings with close friends.
Friday, I was invited to a deliciously fun dinner party at a friend’s house in San Francisco. Dinner was amazing, my glass was never empty, and the laughs never stopped.
Sunday, another friend organized a group outing to Angel Island for a hike and picnic, with her husband, kids, and some of our other close friends. We celebrated Father’s Day, as well as birthdays and an anniversary. I resisted the urge to actually sail to the island, opting instead to take the ferry over like 'normal people.'
And just this past Wednesday, I gathered with some of my best friends at our monthly "guys' happy hour." This is a tradition that I started over 2 years ago when I began working in downtown San Francisco. We meet one Wednesday a month, in the Financial District since that seems to be most convenient, especially for those of us commuting by train. This is a night where the guys can take a break from work and family life, and join me for drinks, dinner, and the same old stories we've told each other a million times. It's always a fun night, and we all appreciate the partners who are at home holding down the fort and managing the kids.
These gatherings – whether we celebrated something formally or not – were a celebration for me. At least in my head. I was celebrating just being reunited with such great friends, after so many months of travel.
I’ve said several times that living on the go, country to country, isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. One of the many challenges is fighting off the feeling of loneliness. Sure, I meet people on the road and make new friends, but it's different. They are new friends, and we are just getting to know each other. More often than not, they are from a different country, so happy hours and picnics are a little tough.
On Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday, I was with friends whom I have already known for a decade or more. We have had amazing experiences together - weddings, births, birthdays, travel, etc. We live (or have lived) in the same neighborhoods.
They are special people, and I miss them when I’m on the road.