Most everyone who knows me knows that I made a pretty big move this past spring and moved back to my hometown to take an opportunity of a lifetime to pursue my passion of being an advocate for agriculture. Since moving home, I’ve had the chance to begin to catch up on 7 years of living in the Midwest, specifically with friends that I feel I’ve neglected for so long. Think about it, you move away from everything you’ve ever known for nearly a decade and you lose touch with so many people that were part of your life in a variety of ways and all of a sudden, you’re back in your hometown, living in your parents’ house and essentially having deja-vu of your high school days. But for 7 years I missed so much – birthdays, holidays, weddings, births, deaths, Sunday dinners and so much more.
As I’ve grown older I have quickly learned that my circle of friends may decrease but the value of my friends certainly increase. I’ll admit, my high school days were filled with a social calendar that was filled from now until Christmas and nothing was going to come in between me and whatever activity was going on each day. But today, things are different. Yes, I may have a social calendar that is still full, but it’s filled with friends wh
o have stuck around, friends who have truly seen me hit rock bottom and proved our friendship was worth something to them.
My days are now filled with my soulmates. Have you ever thought about that before? Having a soulmate is not just about falling in love, but I truly believe that your friends can be and are your soulmates as well. I’m blessed and honored to have many soulmates in my life and quite honestly, soulmates that have come and gone over the years as well. How many of you keep in touch with every friend you ever had in high school. As sad and honest as it is, I’m pretty sure none of us do. There’s the occasional
“like” on Facebook or high school reunion or Homecoming football game, but I firmly believe that the majority of our friendships begin in college. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my friends that I’ve grown up with and that have been part of my life for 20+ years but there’s something about college friends that is different.
College friends are the ones who get to know you as you become an adult. They are the ones you pull all-nighters with, celebrate your 21st birthday together, see you through your first college love and are there for you when it doesn’t work out. Your college friends are the ones who have similar interests because you’re sharing the same major. They are the ones you live with, eat with and simply experience life with for 4 straight years. They become your soulmates and as soon as graduation hits, life changes. But one thing remains the same – a strong bond of friendship that spans the distance across New York State and beyond.
Throughout my travels I met some incredible people but none as remarkable and life-changing as my college friends. When I was sitting in church a while back, the pastor asked a question that got me thinking. He said, “Make a list of the 5 friends that would be there for you no matter what.” So folks started thinking and writing down names pretty quickly. But me, I challenged that way of thinking. I wanted to think about 5 people who would have my name on their list. It got me thinking about life and friendships a little differently. How have I treated my friends? Would there be 5 people in my life that would consider me one of those top 5 friends that they would call. This perspective made me re-evaluate how I treat my friends, how I spend my time and how I simply live life.
Now I’m not going to sit here and name names because I’m bound to forget someone but please know that everyone that I’ve come across in my life has made an impact on my life in some way shape or form. And to those friends that I’ve visited with since my big move back home this past spring – thank you! Thank you for allowing me back into your life after being away for so long and for never letting distance come between us. And to those that I haven’t seen yet – don’t worry! I’m not going anywhere anytime soon so our paths will cross because the world is small and soulmates shouldn’t believe in distance or excuses.