There is no greater feeling than being surrounded by the ones you love. Strong friendships are powerful, and sometimes rare to find. I am a firm believer in you meet people when you need them most, and nothing could be more true about some of my best college friends. They are the diamond in the rough kind of friendships, the people you can rely on, and the humans who bring out the very best in you.
As college graduation approached in May 2017, the thoughts of leaving behind these friendships within walking distance, the chance to spend time together whenever we wanted, and the most spontaneous fun were something that kept me up at night. Those things made my stomach twist and turn, and for once in a very long time, this aspect of my future was hard to envision. Goodbyes were hard to come by, and although I shockingly kept it together until my final walk home on graduation night, reality was hitting me harder than I imagined.
I consider myself lucky that these people and this place I invested four years of my time was so hard to say goodbye to. You know, channeling that Winnie the Pooh quote and all. Sometimes it's hard to realize all that luck until the situation begins to dwindle and your life begins to change. Until you disperse across the country and convenience is a thing of the past. But the thing about good friendships is that if you put the effort in, they will always last.
At the end of September, I spent a Saturday at one of Boston's biggest beer festivals. Upon moving up here last year, that event became the highlight of my fall and spring, an event friends who settled in other cities consistently heard about. About 5 months prior to the event, there was talk that one of my good friends from school was planning to visit specifically for that festival. A small reunion! Penciled in my calendar and the reason behind our Boston friend group's excitement for the month.
As the months passed and the time drew closer to the event, our Boston group's invitations to our old college friends skyrocketed. Why not try to see who else could join this hallmark of a weekend? It'd be like a mini-homecoming, we'd send in our emotionally appealing, and attempted persuasive text messages. It started with my old college roommate, who jumped on board instantly, then other sports teammates, friends, the whole bit. Voila. Just like that, we had seven of our closest friends traveling a good ways away to join us. Add that to our usual Boston crew, and we had quite the group.
And guess what? We picked up right where we left off. A few minutes of life catch-ups, followed by what seemed like pure college normalcy. Because that's the thing about good friendships. When you want to see each other, you will put in the effort. It may take a few ringleaders, but just one idea can spark the whole fire. A fire that lets you swim through your nostalgia for a little while and that reminds you just how very grateful you are to have met the people you have met. A fire that illuminates your heart and naturally induces a big ol' grin on your face because you know you are you as a result of these friendships.
It is those moments of pure reflection that make you appreciate the past the most. For in those memories you have lived, you had no idea how great the impact would become. Nor did you understand the power of friendships this strong. It can start ever so small, and grow into a reunion as large as this one right here. Never let the sometimes daunting concept of keeping in touch prevent you from staying close to those who mean so much. All it takes is a few messages to plant the seed, then a bit more effort to ensure a date is set in stone. Because even though these friendships are so flawless, that does not mean they do not require the effort to continue as the convenience factor wears thin. Chances are the other friend is just as interested in rekindling as you are.
There have been many mini-reunions planned since. Friends coming in from Philadelphia, North Carolina, New York City, and more. Flights booked to Indiana, California, Washington D.C. and beyond. All opportunities to remove that bookmark from your last visits and continue writing your story. These reunions assure your grateful heart that you have humans in your life that you see staying there for the long haul. Friends that you made at whatever age who you can picture in every stage of your life moving forward.
So carry these opportunities onward, and just know that a little effort and determination will make these sweet reunions happen. And when they do, I hope your heart is filled with joy knowing you have these humans and these moments to look forward to for life.