Finding a kindred spirit is a little like finding love at first sight. When you meet someone who is the perfect friend for you there is a moment where time hangs suspended and all seems right with the world. And you just know that this person will be your new best friend.
You can tell a kindred spirit from the first moment you meet. Perhaps you and this new girl exchange some witty banter. Perhaps you can tell from the way she interacts with her kids that you are cut from the same cloth.
Military life means we spend a lot of time saying “goodbye” to old friends and trying to find new ones. Friend dating is one of my least favorite activities — ranking right at the bottom of the list with things like church shopping and gynecologist hunting.
Unlike friend-building, however, meeting a kindred spirit is not something that you can plan. Oh, you can spend your time in places with a lot of “scope for the imagination” where kindred spirits might dwell, but you cannot plot a friendship like that. It just happens when you aren’t looking.
The problem with kindred spirits is that they seem so very few and far between. How long does each of us spend at any given new duty station wondering when, exactly, we will have a new best friend? How many times have we watched movers haul our boxes back into the truck without ever locating that person?
But it’s just at those moments that I remember this quote from one of my favorite novels, “Anne of Green Gables.” Anne was a girl of very large imagination in a world of comparatively small ones. But rather than let it get her down, she let herself find kindred spirits in the most unexpected places.
“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” — L.M. Montgomery in “Anne of Green Gables.”
If Anne (fictional though she may be) can find kindred spirits, certainly I should be able to, too. Maybe waiting for the “perfect someone” isn’t the right way to go about friend hunting. Maybe finding a kindred spirit is more about being willing to believe that they are out there where you least expect them.