Successive Choirs of Friends

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends." Over the past several years since my New York City adventure began in 2003, I have grown. And with that growth has come many friendships that I will forever cherish. 

My growth as an educator has led me to an over-scheduled life with little sleep and a to-do list that at times feels never-ending. But weeks still come along where I am ready and willing to trade in that extra hour of sleep and hold off on my lesson plans to spend time with friends. And I have had one of those weeks. Over the past week, I spent time with friends from my early days at NYU, friends from grad school, my Redeye Grill family, and co-workers who I would gladly see on a Saturday in addition to our work weeks together. And I must say, it was grand. Every single moment of it. We ate, we shopped, we laughed, and we reminded each other that you don't need much to have a good time with friends. 

Saturday afternoon, I excitedly met up with Angela and Kristen, two friends and fellow teachers from grad school. Angela lives in Ithaca, so it was a special treat for her to be in the city for a little weekend getaway. We grabbed a quick lunch at Toasties in Union Square before heading uptown for hours of shopping on the East Side. We battled our way through the crowded aisles of Bloomingdales and browsed as we caught up on life. And, with my recent shopping luck, I scored a second pair of skinny jeans for under forty dollars that fit oh so perfectly at Banana Republic. Oh yeah baby. 
After my feet and credit cards were exhausted, I went back home to Queens to get ready for my Sex and the City party that I was hosting for a few friends from work. I frantically mixed cookie dough and cleaned my apartment as sheets of chocolate chip cookies baked. I was pleased to get a message from Sahba about an hour before she came over that she was planning to come in sweats. I passed the message along to Brianne, and the three of us dressed to impress in hoodies and yoga pants. We snacked on cheese and crackers as Mike set up shop in the kitchen as bartender. After a few mishaps and sips of ridiculously strong drinks, our orange pomegranate cocktails were perfected and poured. We had planned on chatting as we watched a marathon of SATC episodes and movies, but changed our tune to board games and delivered Mexican food from Guacamole. It was nice to spend hours with co-workers with little conversation about work. We laughed as we told stories, played Scattegories, and watched some of our favorite SNL episodes. We may not have been dressed and out on the town like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha always were, but the four of us had an equally good time lounging in my apartment on our Saturday night. 
Sunday afternoon I headed to the Upper West Side to catch up with Lindsey for a an hour or so. I am so lucky to have met her before even officially moving to the city, and think about how wonderful our friendship is after each time we hang out. I still have mornings where I wish she was in the bedroom next to mine for that list minute outfit check before leaving for work and nights where I want her next to me laughing as I watch Friends or The Good Fight (SATC, Season 4, Episode 13. Amazing. Check it out.), but luckily she is only a short subway ride away. 

My time with friends continued into my work week. Last night, Brian and I went over to Dayle's apartment in Astoria to celebrate her 30th birthday. True to form, she was the life of the party bouncing around the room introducing people, heating up food, and catching up with friends. It was nice to get to see old friends from an old job, and talk about our lives outside of the place we used to spend gruelingly long days and nights serving together. 

I can only hope that when people look at me, they see my growth as a person by seeing the amazing successive choirs of my friends. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such positive, energetic, and inspiring people here in the city. 

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