When I was in college, I had a hard time making friends. I met wonderful people in my dorm who I became close (and later roommates) with, and we were great friends. But they all had their own schedules, and expanding beyond that small handful of people was rough. In the latter half of college, I felt lonely a lot — until I joined the crew team.
Waking up before the crack of dawn to go exercise in an old boat on a grossly polluted river together was an extreme opportunity for finding friends. But it was the bus rides to and from practice, the road trips to regattas, the pasta parties before competitions and the non-pasta parties that brought us all closer together. Environments like those don't often exist outside a school structure, but luckily the friendships can.
So back to the perplexing part of this week: long story short, a very close friend of a very close friend (both whom I met through the crew team) experienced a mental health emergency and became hospitalized through a sensitive situation that has since drawn a lot of unwanted attention. We're in different cities now, but it's reminded me of the strength of friendship, in the best of times and the worst of times. Sometimes we're the sad cat among our friends and sometimes we're the happy turtle for them. But what matters is that we're there, in whatever form (or animal) possible.
I finally had a chance to talk on the phone with my close friend at the end of the week. We spoke at some points and sat in silence at others as she was simultaneously stress-repairing a bike. And I still want to send her a zillion virtual hugs, but proofreading her thesis and sending supportive animal memes will have to do, as I know she'd do for me.
So does this week's Sown have a particular topic? Probably not. But this is a note to each and every one of you to let you know if you want to chat, you have someone here.