My Best Guys
I met Andy and Josh when I was out in Oregon for my pre-doctoral internship. Coming from very different parts of the country and different doctoral programs, the three of us all matched (crazy, computerized ranking and matching system like medical residency) at the University of Oregon’s Counseling and Testing Center for this last component to earn our doctoral degrees. Interestingly, while all three of us were in long-term committed relationships, we all moved out to Eugene, Oregon without partners for the year for one reason or another. Since we were all managing long-distance relationships and being away from our partners for the first time, we had an instant bond. But there was much more than that.
The three of us also share many personality characteristics and those sealed our friendships. During the course of that internship year, we spent so much time together — yes, at the Counseling Center for work, but lots of time hanging out, going to happy hour and sporting events, eating together, attending festivals, and a super fun weekend trip to Seattle. Oh and we LAUGHED together. Belly-aching, tears-running-down-your-face kind of laughing. Along with all that fun, there was all the listening and being there for one another as we managed health crises, difficult job searches, dissertation research, and relationship issues being apart from our partners. While my training and work at the University of Oregon Counseling Center was amazing, Andy and Josh made my internship year what it was.
As I look back on that time, I wouldn’t change it for anything. On the surface, it sounds ludicrous that I would choose to spend that year apart from Tony, with him in Missouri and me in Oregon. But had I made a different choice — that Tony was able to join me in Oregon, or that Oregon felt too far away and so I didn’t rank it #1 — then my relationships with Josh and Andy would not have developed in the ways that they did or perhaps even exist. That’s the thing about being able to go back in time and change one small aspect of your life — it would change everything.
It’s been almost 8 years since we completed our internship at the U of O. And through those years, we’ve done a good job of keeping in touch and visiting one another. With job changes, moves across the country, and having a kid, two years had passed since we had gotten together. So, I’m beyond grateful that Josh and Andy came to visit last week. Words don’t convey how fabulous it was to see them and to connect. They’re my best guys.
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