Do you remember the feeling, in high school, of meeting someone that you felt like you couldn’t do without and couldn’t get enough of? I don’t mean this in a romantic way either, although that can be part of it.
I mean the feeling — even with friends — of connecting with someone who just seemed to be so funny, so interesting, so smart that he or she felt just right to you. Ideally, this person would feel the same way about you (not always!) and you’d spend every possible moment talking about everything or nothing, doing something or nothing. Those times are like being in love. But with just the good parts, not the awkward, painful, disappointing and embarrassing parts.
From the vast perspective of a forty year old, I think this has something to do with the fact that we’re all trying to define ourselves at that age. We form super intense connections with people who we obviously care about, but also who reflect back to us what we want to see in ourselves. And we’re shaped, in part, by the time we spend with them. Hopefully for the better.
(This might just be a thing that girls do. I have no idea what teenaged boys do — they’re as much a mystery to me now as they were then.)
I’m lucky to have kept some of those friends for the past twenty years and to have reconnected with others. Obviously, I have excellent taste and always have had.
I bring this up now because, oddly, two of the people I felt that way about — high school friends who had a big impact on me — have had reason to see neurologists in the intervening years. And, purely by coincidence, I have appointments to see both of those neurologists in the next two months.