A little over six years ago, a bunch of us bloggers had some interesting discussions on what it felt like to be an immigrant. We started with writing posts, carrying on spirited conversations in the comment space and then making the leap to phone calls and eventually meeting in real life. Of these bunch of bloggers, I had met all but for one until this week. So, when I heard Mia was heading our way, I was excited to finally put a face and person to the name.
We met, five of us at a local restaurant. We chatted, listened, roared with laughter, sat in companionable silence, took a whole lot of pictures and went home drunk on friendship and camaraderie.
Late at night, lying in bed, I went over the evening, looking for moments to file away and frame in my head. Somewhere in the midst of conversation, Mia handed out bracelets for each of us. We slipped them on, held our hands out and snapped pictures. The image of five hands stretched out, not touching yet banded by bracelets seared itself in my head. It is truly representative of how we are connected. Our relationship does not have the sweetness of childhood friendships. It does not have the intensity of young adult relationships. It is not born out of sharing history or common circumstances. Instead it has been forged from common experiences, built by hesitant conversations, strengthened by hand written letters and polished by the rare in person get-togethers.
As a group of women we have gone through seeing each other through challenges life has thrown at us, supporting and celebrating through the years. Even if we do not share the minutiae of our lives, we paint broad strokes and know that the others can understand what they see.
Sitting in the midst of a predominantly female crowd at my childrens’ back to school night, I looked around and took in groups of people hugging, exchanging notes and sporting wide smiles. I felt right at home knowing what it is like to be part of a group like that. If this is what my forties are to be like, I can’t wait to experience it in all its glory.