Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Circle

Five years ago when I moved to Pittsburgh, I was not alone. Earlier in the year Brooke and Erin made the move and earlier in the week, Deb had too. While we had all gone to college together, I, for one, had lost track of them all until I found myself checking out Pittsburgh. However, we all found ourselves here for varying reasons and found the friendships to be the support we needed in our individual transitions. Every Tuesday evening Circle met.

Brooke was the first to move to Pittsburgh in January '01. She had been living in Maryland and after several lonely months decided to come to Pittsburgh to be closer to her boyfriend. She got a job at a tile company for the first year before changing jobs and working at a nursing home.

Erin came to Pittsburgh in February '01. Having no solid plans, she ran into Brooke who convinced her to also make a move to Pittsburgh as well. Both Erin and Brooke lived at the Spinning Plates. Erin participated in musicals, dance classes and my favorite, the show choir. She worked data entry for a while before scoring a job at the PPC.

Deb and I both moved here at the beginning of September '01. Deb lived with another friend and I believe moved in part because of her boyfriend as well. She worked at Pitt in a medical lab. I, too, moved here because of a boyfriend, but also in part because of running into Erin who was ready to break lease and have a roommate. After two months, I began working at MCG as a photo tech.

It's a bit crazy to look back at how far we've come. Brooke spent a year at MCG with me, and has since ventured on her own as a studio artist. She is incredibly talented, working in glass, painting, drawing, collage, large and small. Erin moved quickly up the ladder at PPC before making a change and going to work at the church instead. She is now working as Development Director at LMCC. Deb began medical school and took a year off after her third year. She and her husband moved to Africa where Deb worked in a hospital delivering 180 babies! I had five jobs in 4.25 years at MCG before leaving my position as Coordinator of School Day Programs. After several years of significant health issues, it was time to take a break nurturing myself instead of a career.

We are all married. The three of us who came in part for boyfriends have found them to also be wonderful husbands. Deb is seven months pregnant and beginning her final year of med school, having returned from Africa last week. We have yet to see what the future will bring as we consider new jobs, grad school, medical residency, families, dreams and more.

Over the years, and through our many transitions, the relationships have grown and changed over and over again. We've all found meaningful friendships outside the boundaries of Circle, and yet still consider the others to be an important part of our Pittsburgh community. Last night we were all together for the first time in a year. It was Deb's birthday, and somehow we were all miraculously together. Five years after we all arrived, our lives have found grounding and our networks have grown. While we do not often find a time and space to all be together, it always feels good when we do.

With out being specific, you all know that I love you dearly and that the base of your friendship was very significant to my start in Pittsburgh. As these changes happen and we find ourselves in transition that may move us farther apart, I hope we can remain close. Even when months go by, I feel that my spirit knows each of you and does not hesitate to connect again.

1 comment:

ecly said...

The circle moments are precious. And I know you've watched me shift and grow and figure out who/what I am. As I contemplate moving, the deepest sadness comes from acknowledging the end of an era. It almost feels like high school graduation, but without the exciting unknown future ahead. There's still a future and we will all work to make it the best, but it's not so novel and fresh and my expectations are different. Perhaps the biggest difference is that I was ready to leave high school and excited about the new adult life ahead of me. And now I have no interest in leaving this era, but life is pulling me away and pulling others away and there's little that can be done to simultaneously be true to life, live for the future, and stay.