Encountering New Worlds via Old Friends

Anaïs Nin wrote, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”

I have been reminded of this quote many times recently as I bop from one friend’s life to another.  This year more than ever winter break has allowed me to reconnect with friends from all realms of my life, for a spontaneous sleepover, to visit to an art museum, to dream up plans for the future, to walk across an icy lake, or to road trip to the South and back.   I can’t help but notice how each of them brings out a unique side of me, so much so that I feel like I am reconnecting not only with friends but with versions of myself that only exist when I am with them.

I could take you on a tour of these worlds: the energizing, calming, reflective, silly, dramatic, unreserved and inquisitive states of myself I have encountered while visiting these friends.  But I’m not sure it would feel as real to an outsider.  I could tell you of the way our personalities react to create this change – but I’m not sure I understand it.  When looking up this quote I found this blog which described it as such, “In essence, we become a new person in relation to our new friend.  A new human quadrant or area, the area of the Venn diagram formed by the overlapping of the two circles (us and our friend) now exists in the world” which I thought sounded nice, if you’re someone who thinks the thought of Venn diagrams is nice.

Really though I am sharing this now so that you can recognize the worlds that each of your friends create in you.  We often hear quotes tossed around, but only at certain points do they really speak to us.  I know that today this quote has allowed me to appreciate the beauty of friendship, and its power to unlock new worlds, that much more.


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