Saw an old friend at the market
A few days ago I saw an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in a couple of years at the local farmers market. We first met when my son and her daughter started preschool, about 15 years ago. We excitedly went right into sharing some quick words about what had changed in our lives since we had last seen each other. We were having a lively little chat, but I wanted to go beyond the news report and engage in more significant conversation. I had missed her in the last couple of years, and wanted to know how she was doing personally. So I asked ” but so how are you?” a second time, this time a bit more emphatically, hoping that would elicit a more meaningful answer than the automatic “fine”, or “great” , or “ok” that it usually produces the first time around. I have found that to often be the case, and indeed, her answer this time was simple and to the point. She smiled and said: “I am bored.”
She didn’t mean bored with the market or with our conversation. She meant bored with her life. I was surprised by her openness, and admired her courage to admit that so naturally. Her answer made me feel very gratified as a friend. Her candor made me believe that the elapsed time had not significantly lessened the closeness we once shared. I felt an immediate re-connection, and that sudden sense of comfort in our re-discovered friendship must have lowered my consciousness defenses, because before I knew it, I blurted out words that surprised me as soon as I heard them out of my own mouth. I said I was bored too.
I had never thought that way about my life before.