My new best friends are now living with me, learning about me, and embarking on this next chapter of life with me. But you're at a different college, or still at home, thriving and living the life we used to live, and I can't say I'm not sad about that.
The friends I've met now know me as of the past three months. They're the ones who know what it's like to pick up and move away from home with people you barely know, who know how it feels to be so utterly and completely happy, alone, and liberated, and who know me on a different kind of, but still so authentic, real.
My friends at home know me in the past years. They know my most embarrassing stories, and chances are they lived them with me. They know my drama and my pet peeves, the best ways to make me laugh, and how to cheer me up. They know my favorite restaurants, and I don't have to repeatedly tell them a hundred times how "I'm not lactose intolerant, but ice cream makes me feel really sick." They've traveled with me across the seas, and they've driven around town with me with the same enthusiasm.
The more people I've met, though, the more I've met myself. The more I look back the more I wonder "if I were to meet my old friends now, would we even be friends?" As much as that seems worthless to think about, I think it really puts into perspective the beauty and value of different friendships and different seasons.
So now apart from comfort and consistency in friendships at home, I am learning how to make others laugh and telling them stories of what we used to do. I'm smiling as I talk about "my friends from home" and get a little sentimental as the Snapchat memories become more frequent. I have learned to share pieces with my heart a little more every day because perhaps the only thing I am known for here is my social media, and, boy, is that inaccurate.
I guess I don't feel so bad about leaving my friends from home because I am still so loved and cared for by them from afar and I have so many new friends that make it a little easier to call this place "home" (Sorry, Mom, I still love you and our home. But let's face it, I'm going to live here for four years, so I might as well be happy enough to call it home). From the ones who let me update them every time something happens to weekly FaceTime calls, to surprise "spooky boxes" that show up in the mail, I can't help but feel like those friends are the ones that are going to stay with me much longer than college itself. I can't find a reason to be eternally sad to leave them when I know they're always there for me.
I can't long for the past season when I am finding such incredible joy in new friends who take impromptu road trips with me, plan camping trips, and just share a table with me. I can't really be sad because this isn't the end of a chapter anymore. It's the beginning of a new chapter, and I'm just glad I can call the same characters from the last ones my lifelong friends.
I know nothing is ever really going to be the same again but isn't that ok? Isn't that what life is about? Isn't college for finding the forever friends who transcend seasons and distances, both on campus and back at home?
I still count down the days until I'm sitting in the car with my friends from home, going to eat at our favorite places (Keifer's!!!), and laughing about everything that has happened the past two years to the past hour. But I have to stop myself from becoming so worried about their lives without me that I forget to look up and laugh with those who are right next to me now. I have to thank you for everything you've done, including setting me and teaching me how to love my new friends better.
Ben Rector so fondly describes it as "You can grow up and make new ones, but the truth is, there's nothing like old friends."I don't think it's fair to call you high school friends. Here's to life-long friends. To those who cry with me, laugh with me, and love me hard. To the ones who taught me how to be a better friend to others from how they've been such a good friend tome.
So here's to a season of old laughs, forever friends, and new, joyful memories as the weeks go by.