I swam all four years I was at Lehigh.
I made some really, really good friends.
That’s the way it normally works with swimmers. If you are on the swim team, you have friendships and bonds for life.
Only swimmers understand the swim life.
The swim team is its own fraternity and sorority.
Along with the really strong bonds you form with other people, you also share some other things.
Like boyfriends and girlfriends and drama.
It’s hard to spend three or four or five hours a day half naked with the same ten or twenty or fifty people and not end up in some sticky situations at some point.
When I was in college, I had a very serious boyfriend who was on the swim team.
My senior year he was actually my coach.
That’s a story for another day.
We broke up about six months after I graduated. It was a mess.
To make things even messier, he started dating one of my closest friends on the team.
I was pretty hurt at the time. Probably more hurt by my friend than by my ex boyfriend.
But shit happens.
Okay, this post is about to take a left turn, but it will circle back around.
This weekend I went to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market with some of the kids and my parents. We were looking for a desk for Number 5.
If you’ve ever watched that HGTV show Flea Market Flip with Lara Spencer, you have probably seen the Elephant’s Trunk on it.
It’s like the biggest outdoor flea market in New England and they film a lot of their episodes there.
Anyway, it’s pretty cool.
There was a little band there this weekend.
The kids liked that.
You can find just about anything there.
Cradles, skeletons, tandem bikes…
I don’t know how many people are there, but I think in the thousands is a safe guess.
There’s like ten or twelve rows like this that are a couple hundred yards long, filled with people.
Of course the kids were starving like twelve seconds after we got there. We had walked down maybe two rows and they needed food.
So I’m bent over on the side of the path digging through my backpack trying to find my wallet because within five minutes of getting there we saw this pile that said FREE STUFF on it and Number 6 and 7 just about obliterated it and most of it was stuffed in my backpack.
So I’m not showered and I’m sweating and I’m slightly annoyed and that’s when I hear,
I wasn’t really surprised because the flea market is only like ten minutes from my house so I usually see at least one person I know when I’m there.
So I look up.
And I see…
My very, very, very good friend and old teammate from college.
The one who started dating my ex boyfriend after we broke up.
I hadn’t seen her in well over 20 years.
I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do.
She lives in Pennsylvania (where she has lived since college) and to see her at The Elephant’s Trunk was just well, I don’t know.
Surreal, I guess.
We hugged for like a minute, I think.
In that moment when I saw her, I didn’t remember the drama.
I didn’t have any hard feelings. My ex boyfriend never even crossed my mind.
I remembered all the fun times. Like our entire college relationship flashed before my eyes. All the great parts of it.
I realized how much I missed her.
And I was just so happy to see her.
That swim team bond is so much stronger than anything else.
And even though we haven’t spoken to each other in twenty-five years, I guess our friendship is still strong, too.
I don’t think this meeting was a coincidence.
Just the other day I wrote a post about missing my pre-marriage and pre-kid self.
And then, out of nowhere, one of my closest college friends who lives a couple states away appears at a fucking flea market ten minutes from my house.
I can’t wait to catch up with my friend. We are already planning a girls’ weekend. And I’m not just blowing smoke out my ass about it.
Some pretty crazy and amazing shit happens when you tune back into yourself.
A couple days ago I opened myself up to the Universe with that blog post.
And the Universe did not waste any time.
If she put me and my friend together at a flea market on a random Sunday, then that is a connection that is meant to be (re)strengthened. So it will be.
But I think this is just the beginning.
I think the Universe was just waiting for me to change the way I looked at things. And once I did, she was like,
OKAY, WOMAN, LET’S GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD.
So I’m on the road.
And I think I’m headed for some really awesome people. And places.
And one more thing.
When I said you can find pretty much anything at the Elephant’s Trunk, I wasn’t kidding.
They even have your college BFF’s.