We value friends, but the path of friendship is rarely commenced deliberately. Rather than picking our friends based on intentional choice like common values and interests, our friendships start through seemingly random meetings.

I find it profound how the bond of friendship, something so life shaping and held in such esteem, can be stumbled upon so serendipitously.

How different would our lives be if our closest friend had simply been in a different place and never crossed paths?

It’s not that crazy to think that they could have easily been placed in a different class, decided not to play that sport or be at that party. So many things just have to break right for you to even meet: right time, right place, right mood, a certain chemistry… that all it would take is just one decision and things would be vastly different.

And while meeting may come from chance, the transition to friendship is something more deliberate. While we don’t necessarily control who we meet, we do to an extent those we see again. If you never go out of your way to actually set a date for the next encounter – then, no, friendship will not just happen.

Who knows how many potential friendships haven’t been actualized because we dropped the ball. We waited for someone else to pursue. We waited for someone else to “just make it happen.” We wanted it to be easier, more natural, more obvious. We wanted them to want us. That it has been too long since you’ve last spoken, and felt silly getting back in touch. That we figured they already had all the friends they needed.

Don’t fall for these thoughts, they are tricks played on us by our own insecurities. And while there is a great deal of chance in who you meet in your life, the choice to make something from those random meetings is more up to you than you might think.