Sunday, January 29, 2017

The world is small.

I first met Anya in Göttingen. It was 2011, and we were fresh college graduates, on Fulbright grants to Germany, where we lived and studied. We had no shortage of things to bond over. As Americans of German heritage with typical German-sounding names and relative fluency in the language, we could both pass for German anytime we wanted. In fact, we often tried to. We were both Lutheran, women in science, and danced ballet. I immediately recognized Anya as one of my tribe.

I saw her again in Berlin in 2012, at a conference for Fulbright grantees across Europe. We established contact on social media, but I really figured I'd never see her again.

Fast-forward to this weekend. I headed up to Boston to spend the day with some friends from my new church. The group had an e-mail thread going over the past week to arrange our plans. I didn't even notice it until she sent a message to the group, but there it was on my computer screen: Anya's name. As it turns out, the couple that invited me to Boston splits their Sundays between my church and another church in Boston, where Anya and her husband attend, so we were all invited to the weekend's events.

Anya and I in Boston. Photo by Erik Roberts.
How's that for six degrees of separation?

I am beyond delighted that Anya has shown back up in my life. She's doing her Ph.D. in bioengineering, and I have immense respect for the girl. Her brain is incredible, and she's a lovely person too. Her reappearance in my story could be interpreted as evidence for how small academia is, or how small the Lutheran church is (with that much in common, we were bound to have some mutual friends), but I prefer to see it as evidence for how beautifully poetic life can be.

I have stated multiple times on this blog that it is the people I meet who give my mobile lifestyle meaning, and I reiterate that mantra here. From Göttingen to Berlin to Boston, I am thrilled to be reconnected with such a wonderful human.

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