I said the last goodbyes of my sophomore year of college before summer last week.
I hugged some of my closests friends, cracked some terrible jokes and received several in reciprocation, told them I'd fight them if they didn't keep in touch, thanked them for helping me survive another year, and stamped the bundle with your friendly neighborhood HAGS well wishes. "Just three months," we reminded each other, waving from the windows of our respective vehicles and various modes of transport. The "just" in that sentence depends on frame of reference, but for us, to think about the passage of time in short terms is favorable to say the least.
Saying finite goodbyes still hurts. They still weigh on the heart as you wait for the clock to tick, the bells to chime, the alarms to ring, the sun to rise and set, rise and set, right on schedule until you find yourself no longer waiting but rather having already waited.
To say that I'll never get used to the novelty college experience of falling in love with friendships that relocate every summer is an understatement. I keep finding people I love and look up to and just want to grab lunch with, which is difficult when they head about eight states away. Our conversations are swiftly confined to the bounds of text messages that may or may not come in, depending on the direction of the wind and the available service.
But honestly, I love all of this.
Not in a "Sucker for Pain" kind of way, no - I love knowing that the pain I feel from saying goodbye is the result of a depth of care and admiration for those around me. I love knowing that I've found people who put up with the absurd mess of a human being I am, who not only tolerate my oddities but willingly share with me ones of their own. I love that even the hardest parts of friendships, like the hurt that stems from goodbyes, are reminders of the people I love and all the reasons I love them.
I am wildly not proficient in people skills. I am a tumbleweed of absurd thoughts and scatterbrained ideas. My introverted brain loves to spend certain days of mine playing hopscotch between apathy and hyperemotionality. I don't really get the ins and outs of who I am. All that being said, I'm still pretty floored that such amazing people have chosen to bring me into their lives, have shared their worlds with me, have given me priceless friendships I couldn't have made it this far without.
So I'm ok with the goodbyes. I'm ok with the months apart, ok with the text conversations, ok with the waiting. As a matter of fact, I treasure it all. Not only are they reminders of how I feel about others and how ridiculously lucky I am that others feel the same, but they are also poignant struggles that make the relationships I've been given even more precious.
Missing my friends is just one more reminder of how much they've meant to me and how much they'll continue to mean. Whether I can take a step in or summer forces me to take a step out, the results are all the same. People are good people. And my people are better to me than I will ever deserve.