Just back from a late night trip to the 24 hour grocery. Not that I needed to. Not really. I just like going to the supermarket on a high traffic, pre-holiday moment. Somehow it gets me into the mood. I like the random human interaction. I like the smiles between strangers, and the little courtesies. It grounds me, amuses and delights. Lost in the anonymity, I just feel very very human. Didn't Oprah say that's what she most misses in her life? Shopping by herself in the supermarket?
I started the day early (early enough to still get a parking space) at the Central Market, the upscale sister to the more mainstream 24 hour HEB. It's a different picture tonight. The shelves are rummaged, bare, and disheveled, though employees are hard at work guiding and unpacking stacked carts full of fresh goods for the post-Thanksgiving rush. In the aisles wander young couples and Hispanics of all ages. I like the contrast. I feel at home in both environments. Satisfying bookends. Indulging in my own economic stimulus package, and human recharge.
On Cassie's daily visit to the office (yesterday when we kidded her boyfriend of 5 years, once apparently an active bachelor, now seemingly incapable of spending more than 45 minutes away from her, he smiled, "45 minutes is a LONG time." But I digress....) Cassie and I find ourselves talking about giving thanks. I realize I've blogged about what I'm talking about previously and go back to send her the easy link. Funny enough, the sentiments are exactly what I wrote about on this day last year. The pre-Thanksgiving mull.
But I also find myself lingering on a couple of different recent conversations with some younger women friends. Ages 28, 24, 21. In each case, they're wondering about their life, and how good or down they feel, and what seems to be missing. The common refrain is, "I need some new friends...some better friends for who I am now." And it makes me wonder...in this day of incessant social networks, is it still so hard to find people that feed and inspire you? Has it always been this hard? Is that the journey? As you mine for important connections, is that how you discover who you are? Have the social networks made it easier or harder? Interesting questions as I peer from my generation to the younger.