When I worked in Winnipeg, I was constantly told, "Too bad Sammi just left; you two would have been great friends!" "You and Sammi would have got along so well; its unfortunate you weren't here when she was!" I kept wondering who this Sammi was and where did she go? She was obviously well-loved and apparently, we were a lot alike since everyone thought we would have been best friends.Her & I have a mutual fabulous friend (Hello, lovely Deidre!) who was at Health Science Centre when both of us were there. She informed me of who Sammi was, that her last day at HSC was during my hospital orientation (we just missed each other!) and as more and more Sammi stories surfaced in the year I was in Manitoba, I felt like I knew Sammi very well, even though we had never met!
Fast forward to nine months later. I had left Winnipeg last Fall and was driving across the country to Seattle. I had a lot of reservations about moving to a city where I knew absolutely no one. I had never lived alone before and any mock trial when my roommates would be out of town for a night or two left me hiding under my duvet scared of all the eery noises I was hearing.
I was skyping with Deidre discussing my fears of living alone (she had just traveled around Australia for nine months by herself and was a pro at traveling solo!) and she reminded me that my "would-be best friend if we lived in the same place at the same time" lived only 2.5 hours away now!
Soon after, Sammi and I became pen pals writing back and forth about how excited we were to meet each other and how we feel like we already know each other! I was coming to Vancouver for the weekend to spend some q.t. with my auntie and we arranged a day date! Well, it turned in to a sushi/sleepover combo followed by our day date of shopping + sunning and as scared as I was to be spending the night at a total strangers house on the 20th floor of a downtown apartment with a very accessible balcony (I kid. I kid.) ... it was not weird at all! In fact, as conversations carried on without skipping a beat, it instantly felt like I have known Sammi my entire life.
Two weeks later, I joined Sammi for a few days at her fiance's lake house in the middle of the woods at Shuswap Lake in B.C. for the Canadian long weekend! Boating + guitars around the campfire + picking berries + skies filled with thousands of stars, it was such a fabulously fun weekend! Welcomed equally in to her family-in-law as well in to her circle of friends, I laughed til my abs hurt for five days straight as we partied like rockstars from sun up til sun
Another two weeks had gone by when Sammi came to stay with me in Seattle the last two days! While we didn't get much accomplished on her to-do list, we ate great food, did lots of shopping and fantasized about how awesome her stagette party is going to be in Vegas the weekend after next... when our common bond (Read: Deidre!) joins us on our bi-weekly adventures in friending!
Friends that you really connect with are hard to come by... and as I continually move around the country, the lasting friendships I make in each new place are the best thing I get to take with me wherever I go.