I used to have friends all over the map and I loved it.
In college, I'd bounce around campus from event to event with lots of waves and smiles and "Let's get together!"s. Friendships were easy, sometimes surface-y, and many ever-changing.
It was a time of general merriment and joy and there was a life, a breath, a feeling of being alive that came with the season. Let's share! Let's celebrate! Let's be young together! And all the crazy memories (and sometimes mistakes) that followed were still made with a sense of camaraderie. As if we all knew--could feel--this fleeting time would not last and much to our horror, we would grow older. This too would pass. Life would not always be like this.
And then...life did change and despite promises and well-wishes, so did the ties.
Distance, busyness, life got in the way and suddenly I was in a big city with few friends and most of them new.
And I spent a long time missing what I left, some of what I lost, and thinking things will never be what they were.
Even with those who I still saw regularly, something had shifted. No longer were we all lounging with our plastic plates and brownies, playing games in our sweatpants past midnight or setting off to simply create a memory.
Now we were adults--we had jobs, new living arrangements, rings on our fingers that somehow complicated things. It was a necessary, but startlingly abrupt transition.
I wasn't sure what to make of it. And I wasn't sure who to call. And I hated this city, this season of not-knowing, of never-ending transition, of not what it was.
And I still do, sometimes. Because those who have stuck in my life are ones I want to hold onto, ones who knew me then and now, irreplaceable...and yet, not here.
And I know it sounds like one big sob story, but really all I set out to say was that I have been feeling so thankful lately, so blessed, with all those who share my journey day to day. New friendships are hard to forge, especially when life pulls us in so many directions and memories are seemingly so much harder to make, or perhaps experiences are just too exhausting to entertain at the end of a workweek.
Because we don't all share the same road anymore. Decisions are revealing new paths, unique doors, narrower experiences. And when life feels full or unknown or just plain hard, it's difficult to decide who to call alongside you in the journey. Who to trust with your ickiness. Who to intentionally include and how.
And there is a place for those who knew you then--those who are your first phone calls when things fall apart. And those friendships survive distance. Because they must.
But there is something to be said, too, about those who have walked alongside my path--our path--these last few months, expecting nothing, saying little, and just being there.
So for that, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for reminding me that though the world can seem big, and rather ugly at times, it really is full of beauty. And we have felt that shining through so many faces--old and new--and I know that what was, may be no longer...but what will be holds a promise.
Perhaps we're all a bit wiser now. A bit more tired. A few more scratches. But there is still so much life to be celebrated. So much to experience. And it is so much better to do it together.
To those you continually show up, near and far, thank you.
Now let's go make some more memories before we get old and creaky.