The Art of Catching Up

I don’t usually plan on having heart-to-hearts in the middle of Chipotle, but I guess there’s a first time for everything!

A few days ago, I met my friend Lauren (whom I haven’t seen in AGES) at our favorite Mexican restaurant to catch up on our lives. I’ve known Lauren for 3 years now, having met her when I was a scared little freshman on the fifth floor of Stanford Hall. At the time, she was a grad student at Villanova, studying theology and holding the position of Campus Ministry Intern. In short, she was there to help out all the terrified little freshmen like me.

In many ways, Lauren was basically my therapist during my first year at Nova. Between the “Get Real” meetings with girls from my hall and the extremely sweaty Zumba classes she taught in one of the lounges, Lauren gave me guidance and confidence as I navigated the dramatic saga of transiting to college. While I would never want to re-live my freshman year (there’s a time and place for everything), I do have a bittersweet nostalgia for the times I would plop down on her couch, cry out my worries, laugh about my awkwardness, and eat too many Dove dark chocolates with the messages on the wrappers.

While I’m fairly certain I have my life more together now vs. freshman year (it’s still debatable), I still value Lauren’s advice, insight, ability to make me laugh and see the bigger picture. Even though we’re a little more than 10 years apart, we talk as if we’re not: me revealing things that I normally don’t tell other people, and her not judging me for my 21 year old mistakes.

If anyone would observe us during our catching up, they would see a lot of hand motions (we’re hand-talkers), surprised faces, exclamations of “oh my god!,” understanding eyes, and fits of silent laughter. There is no such thing as “long story short,” Lauren likes to say “long story longer.” We actually tell stories to each other, from beginning to end, with all the nit-pick details and dramatics to match.

Having a conversation with Lauren reminds me of my first post about how when I sit down an tell stories, there’s always an “and.” And after that, and next, and you’ll never guess! and it gets better, and that’s another story for another time. I just think it’s cool that events in your life just keep happening. And when you sit down with someone you haven’t seen in a while, you get to recall how those moments fit together with that three letter word and they create your story.

Best piece of advice from Lauren that day: “I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I think things happen and you either use it to grow and learn, or you let it chip away at you. You get to decide.”

Here’s to Chipotle chips & conversations.

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