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Valentine's Day is not just for lovers. It is also a day to celebrate important friendships and to remind us to take a few minutes and reconnect with the people that are most dear to us.



I was reminded of this on a recent trip to Los Angeles to drop my daughter off at school. As we drove up the I-5, we happily chatted about the new semester. She raised some concerns about the heavy load of classes she signed up for and complained about her professors being difficult and not very friendly. In particular, she was worried about a political science project she had to deliver in a few weeks, and she turned to me for advice on getting through her most difficult class.



Keeping my eyes on the road, I started to give her "the speech," but luckily stopped myself in time. When my children were young, I sometimes lied and manipulated the truth about my childhood in the hopes that I could makes things better for them. But my daughter is now an adult, and pulling her leg by pretending to be an authority on the subject of political science no longer seemed like a good thing to do.



So I told her a story instead.



I told her about this guy in high school who wasn't like most of the other boys. He didn't smoke or drink, and he wasn't mean to the girls. Instead, he was very kind and attentive, and even offered to write all of my papers for me. This got my daughter's attention, and soon she was asking all about him -- who he was, when did I see him last and what happened to him.



Until that moment, I hadn't thought of him in years. Yet, I began asking myself the same questions. The truth was, I didn't know what happened to him. My family moved away the next year, we lost touch with each other, and I never heard from him again.



A Serendipitous Meeting


I firmly believe in the Law of Attraction. But you can imagine my surprise when I ran into my old friend from high school the very next day!



For me, nothing beats the accidental meeting with an old acquaintance, or better yet, an old friend. And nothing is more precious than the chance to reconnect with someone you care about and relive your past.


When you sit across the table from a person you haven't seen in almost 30 years, constantly interrupting each other and constantly apologizing for fear of being rude, you want to hold on to every word and every sentence and relieve every memory that you shared. When you have so much to say that you're gasping for air, time disappears and it's almost like you're living in the past again.

We talked for a while and then said our goodbyes, promising to stay in touch. As I got into my car, flooded with emotion from reliving all the memories, it didn't seem possible that 30 years have gone by. I felt warm, happy and very content.


In many ways, friendship is like marriage. It's a relationship that has to be nursed and nurtured until it blossoms. Yet, few of us know how to be a good friend. Plus, it today's hectic world, it's all too easy to walk away from a friendship or break up a relationship that took years to build. Sometimes we let our egos get in the away. Sometimes it's our judgment that hinders our friendship. And sometimes it's simply the lack of time in our chaotic lives to be there for our friends.


As I got to know my old new friend I found that we had a lot in common. I was saddened by all the lost years we missed out on, but only for a minutes. We have so much in common that I know we will stay in touch for years to come.


My friends have always been precious to me, but this incident made me realize even more how important friendships are. So this Valentine's Day, be sure to honor the main love of your life, but make an effort to reach out to your friends as well. Let them know how much you appreciate their friendship and what it means to you.


Who knows? You just might inspire them to do the same!


All the best


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Feb 6, 2008
    • what a terrific column Yana.  I have always felt that way about people from my past.
      Last Memorial Day, Sarah and I went to NYC for the weekend, just the 2 of us. We talked, bonded as we hadn’t been able to in several years. Then she got to meet a friend from my past. We had breakfast w/ him and his friend. He told her stories about me-she couldn’t believe what I was like in high school.
      gave her a totally different view of her mom.

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