Relationships are the zest of life. Whether your “us” is a friendship or romantic relationship or both, connections with others bring different dimensions and perspectives to your world. Some are more significant than others, but they all have one thing in common: one second that person was not in your life, and then the next second they were, and that is the moment your life in some way changed forever.
Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler
How often do you think about the first moment you met a friend or significant other? I must admit that sometimes I am guilty of focusing more on why someone has left my life or why a relationship isn’t as strong as it used to be instead of thinking back to what our initial encounter meant for my life. In fact, sometimes I dwell so much on why a relationship has faded that I neglect giving deserved thought to the people who are actually still in my life.
When I challenge myself to think way back to the first moments of meeting someone and our early memories together, I get chills! It’s truly amazing that we have no idea what that first conversation with someone could lead to, and the years of friendship that could potentially develop over time. Friendships and romantic relationships both have those initial awkward moments of the “figuring each other out” types of questions. It is hard for me to even picture these moments with certain people in my life seeing where our friendships are now, but I know that they all started somewhere!
The Meaning of “Us”
I want to go back to the title of this post and the simple idea behind it: one second someone is not a part your life and the next second they are, and everything has changed. When you think of the phrase, “and then there was us,” who comes to mind? Is it a friend? Is it your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend? Maybe a family member you became close with over time?
I think of the moment I first met my husband in Florida when I was on vacation. I think of the first trip up north I took with my group of friends from high school. I think of meeting my best girlfriends from college and how it’s like no time has passed when we get together. I think of the friends I met at my first job who supported me and lifted me up through those years, and continue to do so to this day. I think of the friends I have made since my life-changing move to Chicago. I think of my childhood friend from Kindergarten who understands every part of me, sometimes even better than I understand myself.
This is just to name a few.
All of these relationships continue to add to my life in so many ways, and when I think back to how we started, I can’t even imagine my life before we were “us.” When I think back to these moments of how we first met, there are 3 feelings that overcome me.
Reflecting back to the time I have met the people in my life brings an overwhelming sense of gratitude to my soul. I love thinking back to the moment we introduced ourselves, totally unknowing of all of the support, the laughter, and the memories we would contribute to each other’s lives. Thoughts from the past make me appreciate the time, energy, and effort it has taken for us to get to this present place in our relationship — a place of complete trust, openness, and ease. We have grown roots that are deep and meaningful and a foundation that is indestructible, and for these I am thankful!
Some of my friendships are more recent while others are more than 10 years old. No matter when these relationships originated, they all have history. I can’t help but smile when I think back to these initial experiences we had together when life was different and we were all a little younger. Experiencing your past life with others naturally makes you feel closer. By reminiscing and reliving experiences through conversation and laughter, you are able to reflect on how you have both grown and changed, as well as what has remained the same in your relationship. The nostalgia from the memories of your first experiences together sparks a connection that can bring an excitement for new memories that are in the making!
I find comfort in knowing that Chuck and my friendships truly know the real me, and have from the very beginning. On both sides we have taken time to understand each other’s fears, our dreams, our likes and our dislikes. We have traveled together along the peaks and valleys of our lives. My friends are aware of the ways in which I am growing in my mind and soul. They have loved me through all of my mistakes and life lessons, offering nothing but encouragement. There may have been disagreements and maybe even some episodes of silence, but there has always been comfort in knowing that the bond we have worked to create from the very beginning can never be broken. This kind of bond takes time, as well as energy and effort from both sides. My heart is full as I look back at the experiences and conversations that have strengthened that bond in each of my relationships.
What if we went into every new encounter with the thought that our lives are in some way changing because of meeting this person?
I am ALL KINDS of emotional thinking back to the beginnings of some of the amazing friendships and relationships that I have in my life.
Take a moment to think back to meeting someone who is now such a significant part of your life that you are unable to even recall what life was like before the day you met. Share your memory of this moment with them, and see if they are able to remember anything more about this memory! Appreciate how far your relationship has come from where it started — that initial “hello” that caused both of your lives to change forever.
Wishing you zest and light,