So there is that theory about “six degrees of separation,” whereby every two people on the planet are only about six relationships apart. Growing up in small-town Iowa, that was true…everybody in town was connected by at most six other people (or pretty often, just one). But in a town of only 10,000 people, that’s to be expected. Much less expected in a city of almost 800,000…
Not so! Since we moved to Austin only five months ago, we have met, by happenstance, an ever-growing list of people who know other friends and acquaintances of ours…from other states and countries. This weekend’s example was the best:
Several weeks ago, I ended up working a Jr. League of Austin shift with a transfer member from Seattle. We bonded over Sea-town and our mutual love of Kansas Jayhawk basketball, so JP and I met up with her and her husband for a game this weekend. Through conversation, we discover she is from the same Missouri town as JP’s two younger brothers and her husband’s parents now live in the same town as JP’s mom.
The husband isn’t from Missouri though and instead spent his childhood in southern and western Africa – so, having lived in Liberia, JP and I instantly bonded with him about African continental diversity. When he moved back from Africa, the husband attended high school in none other than Iowa!
Last, but definitely not least, the couple met at a small Kansas college, and knew by name one of JP’s close friends from his St. Louis suburban high school, who also went to the same college.
I haven’t quite literally been connected to the people in my city since I left my hometown in 1998. If we were waiting for a sign from the universe that we belong in Austin, this “connectedness” could very well be it 🙂