These days, I work from home–in a new city that doesn’t yet feel like home.

Working from home means that on average, the most human interaction I have on a daily basis is with my boyfriend, the dog, and via Gmail. I face my computer for hours on end, and sometimes walking to the mailbox or to the Dollar Store to stock up on soap feels like a mini vacation. (I know. I need to get out more.)

That’s why, when a friend of mine called last week to set up a Valentines Day visit, my heart lit up. My closest friends are no where near me. Princeton. Philly. Los Angeles. Baltimore. Even, Queens. At times, living in New Jersey feels more like living on planet Neptune. I feel isolated, and far from civilization. This friend, whom I’ve known for several years, but never had a chance to really sit down and connect with, wanted to make the trek from Brooklyn to Newark. Just to hang out. She brought me flowers. I baked banana bread. We surfed the internet, and learned more about where both of us are headed (she, to entrepreneurship and world travel, and me, even further into aimless wandering and experimentation). I gave her a tour of my ‘hood, and introduced her to the two shop owners that I’ve come to know in the last three months. Another local friend of hers came over, and the three of us chatted over baby carrots and hummus. After a few hours, they headed to the bus and the train, and I went back to my solitude.

For the average person, my Valentines Day wasn’t anything extraordinary. But having someone take the initative to spend time with me, and get to know me, feels amazing. It let me know that I wasn’t alone. That someone, waaaaay out in Flatbush, cares for me, and supports me–even if it’s just for a day. Relationships with family and partners are completely different from friendships, and to tell the truth, I miss bonding with girl friends. I left a tight-knit group of college friends when I came to NYC in ’06 alone. Since then, I’ve met some amazing people, but have struggled to really establish consistent friendships. I know my loner tendencies have played a role, but it’s hard to form bonds once distance and schedules become factors. Once something is out of your life, it’s much easier to recognize just how important that something is. In my case, it’s comfortable, easy, fun, supportive friendships.

There’s no real point to this rant. My BK friend coming to chill on Valentines Day simply affirmed my appreciation for the people that I have in my life. And it made me want to practice being a better friend. Giving more of myself so that I can feel more from others, and less like I’m living on a desert island.

What if I made the call to make a new friend?