Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Connecting and Reconnecting

In the midst of all the craziness of late, I've been contacted by an old friend from nearly 20 years ago when I lived in Homer, Ak,  and also by a somewhat newer friend I've not actually met in person yet, but whom I've become acquainted with via the web through MySpace and Facebook.  Both emailed me on Facebook to let me know they'd be in here in Portland and would like to connect while they are here.  It's hard to describe how delighted I feel to have had each of them reach out to me this way, but I'm pretty happy about  seeing them both.  I adore catching up with old friends and acquaintances , and am super excited about meeting my other friend, because he is funny and smart and sure to be a whole lot of fun to hang out with.

I actually already saw my old friend, Dave, last Thursday, when he came into Portland to do some visiting and shopping, before heading back to Eugene where his son and grandson live, and then out to Thailand for another Winter abroad.  We decided to meet for lunch near my office, and as I walked up, I stared for a moment, then smiled to see that he had on exactly the same color shirt as I was wearing - an uncommonly bright, burnt umber color.  A dark orange, really.  We both had to laugh.  What are the odds!?  Anyway, we enjoyed reminiscing and catching up over delicious Persian food. It really left me feeling warm and connected to hear what our shared acquaintances are up to these days, and to find out what's different about Homer, and to hear about some of his recent travels.  It really didn't feel like it's been nearly 20 years.  I think Facebook is partly to thank for that, but I also know that I have just been lucky to land somewhere once upon a time, where I fit, and where I will always have connections that I can relate to, no matter how long it is between seeing them.  Seeing Dave, laughing with him, talking about old friends and new ideas with him, hugging him both coming and going - it just reminded me that I belong.  It felt like being "home."  People need to feel that way, and I got a good dose of it with Dave.  I can't wait to hear about his travels this Winter and to see the pictures he posts online.  We may be far apart, but have a way to stay close at heart that goes beyond memories.  I'm so grateful for modern technology!

Truly, the social networking that's available through the internet can be an amazing gift.  I met my other soon-to-visit friend online, back when I spent time on MySpace.  I found myself connecting with writers and photographers, and other creative people there, and somehow the net I cast out into the ether gathered upVincent.  I don't even remember how I came to read his blog and watch his videos, but I have enjoyed his satire and his silliness for a long time now.  I've also enjoyed his intelligence when discussing important issues of the day.  He speaks with razor sharp clarity and gives words to many of my political and social thoughts.  I really appreciate his creativity and his warmth.  Even as he points out mean-ness and illogic in our public discourse, I can tell he likes people.  I know he reads this blog, so I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I was always so flattered to find his comments on my old MySpace blog, and I feel the same way about the fact that he even reads this one.  I'm not near the writer or thinker that he is, but I admire and appreciate his talents and feel very honored that he would care to spend time with me on his travels through the Northwest.  I can't wait to meet him in person, and I'm sure anyone else who is part of the visit will be really interesting and lively, too, so I'm looking forward to meeting those new people.  I feel like it's going to be a lot of fun, and we have plans to connect with other friends from our old MySpace circle who live here locally, too.  I can't give specifics - there's a surprise involved!

Work has been so demanding lately, and there have been some challenges personally - quite a few, even.  But these two people reaching out to me as they pass through have really give me something to smile about and look forward to.  I'm deeply grateful.

There is SO much going on in my life and on the periphery right now.  I'm very nearly overwhelmed, and can hardly stay afloat.  At times I feel my head will simply explode.  Deserves a list (so I can get some of it out of my head):

1.  I'm moving again.  On October 16th and 17th.  I'm still not packed up at all.  Luckily the move will be a good one in the long run.  Much closer to the school - and it's a much bigger, nicer place!
2.  My company is moving our office on the SAME weekend.
3.  We also just rebranded our software and restructured how we sell it.  I'm swamped with getting the word out and changing how I talk about and present our software and company.  It's all very exciting, but exhausting as I try to digest it all.
4.  I just completed the end of 3rd quarter, closing 7 deals,  and now am jumping feet first into a brand new campaign to focus on in Q4 - which is already the biggest quarter for us historically.
5.  My divorce will finally be final this month after nearly 6 years of seperation.  My name will change back to a previous name.  This is not a huge change in practical terms, but technically things will be different, and there is a parenting class I need to complete for it all to be official and done.
6.  I ended a romantic relationship a couple of months ago, and that change is having significant impact on my emotional well-being and sense of balance.  Even when you have the best intentions to honor yourself and the other person, ending a relationship can be extraordinarily painful and exhausting.  Surprisingly so in this case. 
7.  I will have a new manager at work, since we are growing and hiring, and my sales manager is overtaxed with all his new responsibilities.  Luckily the new manager is someone I know and trust and will work well with.
8.  The kids have started a new school year, and that has brought additional challenges, especially for Annie, since the resources that were available to help her have been cut along with the budgets cuts for all schools.
9. We have just learned that our school principal is going to retire.  My kids are anxious about this, and so am I.  We really like him and he is a big reason I like our school so well.

I know there is more, but I simply cannot wrap my head around it all at this juncture.  I needed simply to get some of it out.