We sat there, on the morning before we said good bye, sharing red fleece blankets, huddled around a fire and our bellies full of blueberry pie, very aware that our weekend together was coming to an end. The sadness that had been there in farewells previously though, seemed to be somewhat lacking. For the better. As one of us pointed out, this is normal now. This is life. Until three years ago we were nigh on inseparable, and lived in Glasgow, split across two flats and only apart for a few lectures here and there. How things change. Earlier this year there was a conversation where we were scattered across two continents and five countries. This wasn’t even the first time this had happened since we graduated in 2011. We seem to have simultaneously gravitated towards home and abroad.
I remember that when we left uni it was hard. I’d gone from living with my best friends, seeing them every day, doing everything from eating, working, studying, partying, celebrating, sleeping, commiserating and generally all in all just living with them, and then suddenly it was torn from me. We each took residence in new abodes and made an attempt to get on with our lives without constantly pining for the company we once had. Every new person we met failed to match up to them, and man did they know about it as all they heard was a constant tirade of “this one time at uni, me and my friends….” Each new experience seemed to be lacking as the empty spaces beside me screamed of loneliness and served as a constant reminder of the changes graduation had deemed inevitable.
You change though, you adapt. And one of the things I noticed most last weekend is that saying goodbye doesn’t make me sad any more. In a good way. Don’t get me wrong I wish they were in my life more, I miss them all of course. But the heart-wrenching despair I once felt has been replaced by an acceptance of life, and the excitement that comes with the prospect of seeing them again. I feel that we go our separate ways, to do our own thing, in our own parts of the world and yet something about each of us remains the same and so our friendship goes untouched. Even as we witness each other do things we could have never imagined, and follow paths we never new existed, the reunion still feels like going home, no matter where in the world we travel to have it. It makes it more special somehow, as you know that those friendships are so important they’re worth getting on planes for, worth crossing time zones and pushing our boundaries.