Years ago, I told my boss that I knew him so well that he couldn't possibly have any secrets from me. "If that were true," he replied, "I'd have to kill myself." Now he is 80, still working, still skiing. On the rare occasions when we have lunch, I kid him about that statement.
We all have our demons, and we all have secrets, some of which we don't even share with our most-loved-ones. But having someone to tell is not only good for your health, it actually makes you healthier, especially as you age. At least that's what folks who study aging say.
All that brings me to my friend Maria. Maria and I met professionally; we often ended up at the same meetings, and once we even traveled to London together for our work. For the past ten years, our professional paths have crossed less frequently. When I get to DC or when she comes to Boston, we meet for coffee or lunch, which is what we did earlier this month.
Everyone should have a Maria. She and I instantly "connect," even if we haven't talked for months. Over the years, we have supported one another at traumatic times. Maria has a way of cutting to the core of an issue and helping me with strategies I never considered. She is a beautiful woman with a soft voice that carries a powerful message.
I can share with Maria more than with others I know. But I don't tell her all my secrets. Because then I'd have to kill myself.