I was ten years old , tired, excited and scared at the same time.
Tired because of the jetlag, excited because Asia was all new to me, scared because the boat was small and I had no clue where we were heading. Next to me there was a girl with blond dreads and a backpack. She looked so cool and satisfied with life even though the waves were rocking the boat due to the limit of its capacity. When we got off I told my mother that when I grew up I wanted to be like the girl – travelling the world, being satisfied even in the worst conditions.
When I finished high school, I did like the dreadlock girl on the boat and left. Loved life and the freedom I was privileged to be born with. What I have been reflecting over recently is the price you have to pay for that kind of lifestyle. I made so many good friends but I seem to lose them as quickly. It all comes down to the problematics of long distance relations. How do you keep them alive?
When I see photos on facebook of my old gang from high school still hanging out and it hurts a bit inside because I am not a part of that any more.
The people I spent 6 months in the french alps with are now spread all over the world. We used to be like a big family.
Friends from my home university are having a blast now when the semester started. Will I be missed? Will it be the same when I come back?
Last year was pretty rough. I struggled with a lot of personal issues. There were a few amazing people that helped me get through it. I desperately do not want to lose them! This also includes the people I have meet here so far, they have been quite amazing. I feel lucky to have managed to make so many new good friends in such a short time. But how about when I go back home?
I would identify the problem as a silent conflict going on at two ends: “I need to get in touch with x, it has been too long!” and on the other end “Why is x not calling, how busy can one be?”.
This builds up individually and ends in two possible outcomes:
1. Total silence (most common case) and the end of close friendship. You will still be saying “Happy birthday” on facebook and make small talk at a party you both happen to attend but that is about it.
2. Argumentation about what happened and why? Can the relationship be saved?
What I regret most is losing my best friend, she was almost like a sister. We saw life in the same way and did everything together: trips, school projects, awkward doctor appointments, Graduation party, pasta sauces etc. She could call my mom, I could call her mom. Then we went to different universities. This summer I didn’t even know that her sister is pregnant.
In some cases people actually change and you equally feel that it has been a great run but it is the end of it. However we are young, open minded and permissive so in most cases “the change” is not the issue.
So how do we leave without losing?
ps. It has been a long time since I was this brutally honest about something personal.
I prefer to hide my feelings under a couple of roles. After all Shakespeare was right: the world is a stage.
[Edited 12.09.13 with help from Teresa]
[Edited 12.09.13 with help from Renick]