A friend from Universe City was in Gone West this afternoon, and as we talked, as my two most recent worlds grew a little less isolated from one another, I realized one very good thing I learned in Universe City: how to reach out to people.
Last weekend, I ran into an acquaintance who I knew when I lived here before. We bonded back then over our respective international work, but we never really became friends, because I was too shy to take that extra step and suggest that we hang out, or even to really talk to him when he held a party and invited me. When I saw him last weekend, he said, "You didn't say goodbye!"
I didn't say goodbye because I didn't want to assume that we were better friends than we were. There were a lot of people I left that way when I left Gone West.
That didn't happen when I left Universe City. I said goodbye. Sure, there were people I didn't see when I made the rounds to say goodbye, but I made the rounds. I hugged people I never thought I would hug. I left cards for a good five people in my office.
Yesterday, waiting in line at a food truck for food, I saw another person who I knew on a professional level back when I first worked in Gone West. My shy-ness instinct was to say hi and shuffle on by, and I did, but after I ordered my food I went back to ask how he's doing, and where he's at these days.
Universe City is small. Not so small that your neighbor notices when there is a different car parked in front of your house for an evening, but small enough that everyone in the same general field knows one another. If I learned anything from that, it is to make connections and keep them up.
Universe City is small enough that you have to make friends with almost everyone who is vaguely in the same life position as you. If I learned anything from making friends all over again as an adult, it is to reach out to the people you think might make good friends. I suspect it's going to serve me well.