I flew into Atlanta this evening for a last minute customer meeting, and as an added bonus, was able to meet up with two friends for dinner at one of my favorite fried chicken spots that has come to Atlanta, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. We sat, ate our chicken, Mac and cheese, collard greens, and banana pudding over long conversations about travel, politics, race, sexism, immigration, friends, school, and who knows what else to add to this list. Before I even knew it, four hours had flown by, and it was easily time to leave to get ready for bed and another day of work and meetings. “This always happens when we’re together — we talk so much and then we don’t even realize that all this time has passed!” one of them exclaimed.
That’s the thing — this couple is part of the “new friends” group, “new” as in, we’ve met in the last several years. I feel like we have more in common than friends I’ve had for a long time, some of whom I’ve probably outgrown, but I still spend time with them just because of old habits, even though I never leave the conversations feeling fulfilled or challenged to think about new topics the way I did tonight. If you leave an outing with your friends feeling unfulfilled, not listened to or appreciated, or just frustrated, it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t be friends with them anymore. It’s hard to take that advice, though, isn’t it?