A decade ago I was a journalist living in Paris. It’s crazy to me that I can write that sentence—to think that I’m so old, that ten years ago (such a long time!), I was a working adult. Maybe feeling like a grown-up only happens if you have children?
I don’t know.
My point is: your twenties go by fast, people.
Paris was, in many ways, another life. And one of the things I miss most about that life is my group of friends. There were six of us, and back then we were all journalists.
I always thought it was amazing that we managed to be such good friends despite the fact that we were all working in the same, super-competitive profession.
But now I realize, that’s exactly why we were friends. In a world where people sometimes steal your scoop, your story, or your beat, when you find people in the trenches rooting for you, you don’t let go.
Now there are husbands and life partners and babies and Eurostars and the Atlantic Ocean between us. We’ve scattered to NYC, London, and Birmingham. And the wise ones are still in Paris.
(Sigh. I don’t know if that’s true, that the wise ones are in Paris. But I know that the quality of life there is pretty spectacular.)
That’s why, every few years, when there’s a chance for us all to be together, and to catch up in a way that Facebook and email haven’t managed to fully replace, even if it’s only for a day, I take it.
Which is all a very long way of explaining why I went to London for 26 hours this weekend.
It’s crazy, I know.
Here I am on my seventh cup of coffee:
We decided to get together in one city, with no husbands or life partners or babies. (Although I did get to meet one baby, who is now two weeks old, and her adorable trilingual older sister. And one lovely husband made us coffee mid-day.) But you get the point.
We wanted to talk.
Mostly we talked while we walked around cool markets, like this one in a neighborhood called Brixton. (Where Adele is from! Of course she’s from a cool part of town!) It feels like a British version of Queens on its way to becoming Williamsburg:
Seeing each other is partly a chance to catch up, and to remind each other we still care. And it’s also a chance to be connected to that time in life when the horizon was endless.
I feel younger and more full of hope being around people who knew me when I was.
If you’re ever in Brixton, I hope you go to this restaurant, where we had a delicious lunch:
But mostly, we talked.
Sign of the times: normally it’s my job to explain why some part of the US (Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, TSA) is so crazy, but this year everyone was too worried about the Euro to be bothered.
On Sunday morning, we went for a walk in Greenwich Park (home of Greenwich Meridian and Greenwich Mean Time!), where Equestrian events for the 2012 Olympics will be held.
Talk about London fog!
During our stroll through the park, I couldn’t even see the Royal Observatory, which is supposedly behind those stunning gates.
Didn’t really matter.
Visiting my friends is one of my favorite things I’ve done this year.
I feel incredibly lucky that I was able to.