Remember that TV show, “This is Your Life“? Well, I feel like I’m an ongoing contestant on it since moving to London.
Life gets busy and shoots us off into all different directions geographically, professionally, and socially, running through several spheres and growing one network while possibly severing ties to another. Do you ever find during those rare, elusive moments of quiet that a face of the past flits across your mind that you haven’t seen in person for ages? Sometimes those thoughts are accompanied by regret that you lost touch, or it might just be a “huh, wonder what they’re up to these days?” in passing.
Well, if you’re ever keen on having the most random of reunions with the most random of people, relocating to London is your sure-fire ticket. I’m not joking—people from home that I never saw anymore while living there (and wouldn’t if I still did) keep coming out of the woodwork now that I’m in this city, of all places. This morning I had coffee with a friend from Chicago that I haven’t seen in almost 7 years. Prior to that I’ve had dinner with a former coworker and his family who I hadn’t seen in probably 9 years, seen a musical with a college roommate I hadn’t seen in 12 years, and had dinner with a friend I met in middle school that I hadn’t seen since high school. Oh, and my husband is currently attending grad school, and among the 95 people in his class representing 42 different countries, 1 of them just so happens to be a girl from my high school dance team who now lives in Germany. Seriously?!?!
And then there are the friends who were already living in London at the time I moved here, all of whom I met during different life stages: coworkers from my first job out of college, a sorority sister from university, yet another gal from my high school dance team, and a friend from elementary school who I hadn’t seen since 4th grade!
Not to mention the 30 visitors who have stayed at our apartment while on vacation. And then there’s this new and bizarre phenomenon for me: the people of our past who connect with us by proxy in setting us up on “blind dates”—i.e., lunch with a friend of a friend who was studying in Durham, dinner with a relative-through-marriage’s niece who was studying here, and storing luggage for another relative-through-marriage’s daughter who was studying in Edinburgh (man, looks like these “relatives-through-marriage” are the biggest opportunists of ’em all! ;)).
Be it business or pleasure that brings them here, travel here they do, and I am officially in jaw-dropping awe of what a hub-of-the-world London truly is. Really, other than home where I established my first circles through family, school, and work, I don’t think there’s any other city in the world that could offer me such a broad network, keeping me in contact with those still very much present in my life while reconnecting me with others from the past…while also connecting me with new and wonderful friends whose independent life paths are now likewise crossing mine. It’s an interconnectedness that gives me a warm fuzzy about humanity and relationships and destiny; I just think it’s the coolest thing in the world (“world” being the operative word in light of this global convergence), and I simply thought I would share that with you today :).