Today, I shared a plate of wings with a college friend who’s moving to Swaziland, typed one too many exclamation points while congratulating a former coworker freshly accepted to her London graduate program of choice and bought a card for a certain soon-to-be-law school grad taking a full-time job in Paris.
To a certain extent, I’ve had time to anticipate and prepare for the moves: for example, I always knew the attorney-to-be wouldn’t be able to stay away from his macaron and musee-dotted mecca for long. But I think I’ve also been wearing blinders, in a way, this year: waiting for my scattered family and friends to slowly make their way back to me, watching them return, one by one, from India and Edinburgh and Ecuador, refusing to consider the possibility that another set would be setting sail so soon.
I’m proud of everyone, honestly, and excited to see how their adventures turn out. I’ve also accepted the fact that my life has followed a different path than maybe I thought it would, that my one-time dream of living in Madrid or London probably won’t come to pass. Besides, my Spanish is pretty terrible and I like being close to my family and I like this life I’ve made for myself here, too.
So this time around, as the announcement of around-the-world relocations emerge and some of my nearest and dearest board planes for the other side of the world, there’s not so much a freak out as an understanding that this is the way the world works, this is the way it goes. This is what Skype and frequent flier miles and Christmas cards are made for. This, apparently, is growing up.