As I spend my final day for an indefinite amount of time here at my home in the states, I reflect on the past month or so, filled with goodbyes, and new memories with old friends, while looking forward to a mysterious future. One thing is certain: I am leaving here on an extremely high note, filled with nostalgic stories, hilarious moments, laughs and hugs, best wishes and goodbyes.
I've learned a lot from the back to back events that jam packed my last few weeks before I depart. Every day I say farewell to another friend or enjoy one more celebration with groups of friends in various places. With geographic distance an accepted part of most relationships I hold now, it's easy to forgot how much love remains no matter how many miles are between us or how much time passes. Even when that is not the case, when distance is not an issue and we see each other every day, it's easy to take loved ones for granted and forget the underlying bond that's always there. But when separated and brought back together, or saying farewell for a long stretch of time, the connection with these important people are tested and reinforced. While it's exhilarating to begin a new life abroad, being reminded that my friends are with me every step of the way gives me a warm, comforting feeling and the confidence to keep trekking forward down an uncertain road.
I love that every Fall there will be a Homecoming game in Boone and we will all reunite. I love that Valentines Day now marks an epic girls' weekend and we will always be recreating this tradition. I love that we come together for the Fourth of July in Charleston year after year. Thanksgiving and the Super Bowl are not going away just because I may miss it for a year or two. We will make new memories with big trips, weddings, and any other excuse to come back together from wherever in the world we are planting roots. I may be missing some of these reoccurring good times for now, but in it's place will be memories with new people in my life from around the world that is taking me to places I would have never foreseen. Amazing travel companions from Spain have convinced me this is the next place to explore and live, and I will surely be revisiting places like Israel, the UK, and the Netherlands this year for the soul purpose of seeing people I met that I must see again.
What I've learned from all the goodbyes I've said in the past month and the hellos I anticipate in the near future, is that the people truly do make the memories special. Being a bit of a loner that cherishes solo moments, this is a concept I don't appreciate enough, but I feel truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. The relationships don't fade with time, they grow stronger and become much more precious as we continue down our various paths and add new people to the repertoire. Thank you guys for your amazing support and love! See you again soon!