open your world
While driving back from Tahoe this past weekend, my friend said to me, "your friends are awesome." It was the biggest compliment I think I'll receive all year.
In the spirit of creating as many light-up-tumbleweed moments, I coordinated a weekend trip to Lake Tahoe, and invited a small group of friends from different parts of my life to come hang out and meet new people.
Recently my sister shared that it didn't seem like I had a core group of friends living in San Francisco. All of my friends seemed to be siloed, which was probably a large reason as to why I sometimes I felt alone. I think about what she said often, as the feeling of "alone" is often crippling, and during times like this I end up wanting to isolate myself even more from the people I need the most.
It's incredibly inspiring when I witness people willing to do things without second thought, especially when I imagine myself needing more time. In this specific case, I was happy to see my friends agree to go on a weekend trip when I provided them with zero details. It worked out because I had no idea who was going or what we we would be doing.
"I'm organizing a trip to Tahoe for the weekend. You wanna come?"
"Yea, sounds good. I'm in."
I wonder if since I'm in a place where I'm trying to engage with more people, I unconsciously end up surrounding myself with folks who are open to doing the same. Reflecting back to just a few months ago, for some reason I never considered mixing social groups together. Not because I thought they wouldn't get along, but it just didn't cross my mind. Now I see it as that I was too insecure and focusing too much on what I wanted.. I didn't see the bigger picture or the opportunity potential.
So ten of us got together to spend the weekend in Tahoe, where I knew everyone, but everyone knew at most one other person.
It was one of those scenarios that had the potential to be really awesome or really awkward.
This is what happened when I brought nine strangers together.
You've heard the quote:
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.' Jim Rohn
For unrelated reasons, I've been thinking about friendships recently. How some relationships come and go, and how some really change you deep inside your person. Sometimes that might be the same relationship, and sometimes it isn't. However I find myself naturally gravitating toward certain personality types and people. Partially intrigue, partially shared hobbies or interests. Partially because they are so different from myself. Mostly because I admire certain traits they carry. The values they have.
I would be so honored if I stepped back and found that I was a presentation of my friends.
But what keeps friendships going, and what ends them. Or why do some relationships just fizzle, or expire. What motivates an individual to just hang in there a little bit longer when times are rough.
It was fun remembering how all of these nine individuals came into my life (at different points of my life), and how we got to where we were today. Summer internship, holiday work party, serendipitous dim sum trip, surf trip, random camping trip, 24 hour scavenger hunt, random dinner, spontaneous trip to the beach in the rain, awkward nerdy meetings.
In a way this group ended up representing my life's adventures so far, and it was pretty (for lack of a better word) magical to watch them all come together.
My dad once told me, "If you die able to say that you have five really good friends, consider yourself lucky." My middle school self didn't understand it at the time, and was confident that I would have 50 close friends. As I continue grow older, I'm finding more and more that he was right about these things. Relationships change, and some come and go. However some really good ones stick around.
So find those hidden gems, and don't let them go.