Call It Fate

What are the odds?

That question sometimes pops into our head when we encounter a coincidence, a chance event that we sometimes embue with deeper meaning. It’s karma, fate, kismet, call it what you will—some divine or supernatural energy at work to put us in the right place at the right time, or bring a certain person into our life—or back into it.

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Another Pisces!

Most scientists of course, dismiss the otherworldly nature of coincidences, with some turning to statistics and calculations to explain these events. Me? Well, I try to be a rational guy, but the Pisces in me (and of course by bringing up my astrological sign I immediately undermine any claim to be rational) is open to the mystical, the spiritual, the seemingly unexplained.

I had a coincidence of some proportion a few weeks ago. With the year ending, I contemplated reaching out to someone from my past. We had not communicated in over a year, had not seen each other for even longer, but the urge came.  But then, after writing an email, something made me hesitate; I put it away, planning to wait a few days, reread it, and see if the desire for reconnection remained. I closed the file and then went to check my email. And waiting for me was a message from the person I had just written.

Whoa! Eerie, or what? OK, probably what: If you interviewed me and this person, you might find that we had perfectly valid, non-mystical reasons for thinking about reaching out to each other at the same time. But that Pisces in me wonders…

So, with contact reestablished, we have continued to communicate. And the exchange got me thinking about relationships: the ones that endure, the ones that don’t, the ones that end and then come back to life. I won’t go into the details of the relationship with my correspondent and why it ended. Suffice to say, in my mind anyway, some connection remained. And I’ve learned the same was true on the other end. I suppose that’s a necessary prerequisite for trying to glue back together a broken bond; some part of it was not completely broken.

Looking at relationships that didn’t reconstitute, in one form or another, certain things stand out. Maybe the friendship was based on superficial similarities. Or the bonds could not survive geographic distance or one of us “moving on” in some way from who we were when the relationship first formed.

For me, though, a relationship, once forged, is not given up lightly. This might be less true when it comes to love relationships, as I’ve easily given up contact with some of my exes. Others I readily call a friend, while a few fall into that limbo of non-friend and non-enemy. They are just a neutral sort of memory.

headline-friendship-book-22678447Several times in my life, friendships have dissolved, only to be resurrected decades later. One guy in high school was a pretty good buddy for a year or two, then we went our separate ways, as we are wont to do at age. I was pleasantly surprised when he reached out to me on Facebook a few years ago. Are we best friends now? No. But we had some good times together before I left for NM, and the interactions weren’t based on nostalgia, but on a genuine interest in who we had become as adults.

I have another reconnection story that makes me very happy. Decades ago, my sister and I met four hilarious sisters on a cruise. We bonded quickly and built a friendship that involved visiting each others’ homes and writing letters and even going to one of the sister’s wedding. The times spent with them post-cruise remain some of the happiest of my teen years. Then, after about five years, the relationship fizzled.

Some twenty years later, I took a chance and reached out again to the clan. They were receptive to trying to rebuild a friendship. I visited them, they came up to Connecticut, my sister took part in the reunions too, and now, fifteen years  after I struck up the relationship again, we are all still friends. Best friends? No. But we have enough contact for me to know that the sisters are still hysterical, and our initial teenage connection endured. And I know that taking another cruise with them, if we could ever work out the logistics, would be one huge hoot.

Yes, this recent rapprochement has stirred up lots of thought about the nature of relationships. My wisdom on them, for the two cents it’s worth: Cherish the good relationships you have today. Try to make bad ones work, but know when it’s time to cut the cord and move on. Yet remain open to the idea that time and life experience—and in my case, therapy—might open the door to reconnecting with someone who once meant a lot to you.

I don’t know where this rekindled relationship will go, or if it should go anywhere. For now, we both seem to be enjoying our communication, our catching up and occasionally reminiscing about our past experiences together. We may never see each other in person, but at the least we might build a virtual friendship, another relationship that could give each of us something we value. And that is not a bad thing, whether or not it was karma or fate or kismet.

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~ by mburgan on January 22, 2015.

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