We have five non-consecutive days before the big M-Day. Before now, each week brought a different level of realizing this is a real thing, but even then, it was more of a thismightreallyhappen feeling than a falsetto this is happppening! I think, by this point, we just straight-up skipped the sing-song version and went straight for the “WOAH!” effect.
Now, every day is a different level of realization. Every day is the final goodbye to… someone; it is more of the realization that although we will be back many times, that doesn’t mean we’ll ever see some of these friends again, and the realization that for some of my friends, they’ve already beentheredonethat with my moving away. To them, there’s no distance too far for me to come back at some point. So why say goodbye at all?
But, that’s exactly how it works. It’s the proverbial washing machine of life. Every time you take a spin at a new opportunity in life, no matter how far it takes you, you’re going to lose some socks. So ya, deal with it. I just called my friends a bunch of socks.
It is ironic really. When I first moved back to Utah at 15 years old, I made about 10 really good friends and knew about 120 more that I saw on a regular basis. Then I moved back at 18. During that phase, I tried to reconnect with the besties and instead, made better friends with the random scattering of people I saw every now and then in my life previously. But, I made new ones.
By the time I left at 22 and came back at the end of that same year, you would think such a short time away wouldn’t have made such a difference. When I left, I knew hundreds of people. I had been close enough to about two dozen of them to live with them over the last year. When I returned, I added two new friends to the list and hung on to about… 5. But, this is where it starts to get interesting. In my own reverse-living and over attachment to nostalgia, I started moving backwards. The friends I reconnected with were ones I made a year prior to going anywhere.
This is when I started to truly understand something said to me the first time we moved, when I was 8 years old “You can never go back…” It was explained to my literal mind back then that of course you can return to the same place and perhaps even the same people, but you can never go back to the way it was. There’s no reverse-living.
Finding that to be slightly true at this point, I left again at the end of that same year. There was nothing really to stay for. I followed a career. I made some moves for me to make my life better. It was the first real evidence that perhaps I could live for myself rather than on the constant hunt to regain a feeling that I had once before. I was gone for only about 10 months this time, and this time when I came back, I collected some old friends again from when I was 22 all while thinking I was moving forward in life because, at the time, I as getting married.
Still, I had more reverting to do. Canceling the wedding, I straddled two different eras of life in an attempt to remain in constant repeat of the first few months of a current relationship, back when things were easy, and practically making a career of being 16 again.
I ditched all my efforts towards holding on to people from the past and full on recreated it when my brother moved in with me. He had a career in marketing for a race track. I had a career in marketing music. Between the two of us, we were racing, concerting, or partying 3-5 days a week. At least, that’s the way it seemed. We didn’t have weekends. We didn’t have anything really going for either of us other than being the life of the party and conveniently setting aside the realization that our dozens of friends that always wanted to hang with us… were just there for a handout and the ability to say they knew people like us.
Only six months before I met Stark did I kibosh all notion of “grass is greener.” I had lived ine one place longer than I had lived anywhere since I was 14 years old, and in all honesty… I was really f*&#ing sick of that place. I left that relationship I was constantly recycling. I started dropping all those single-serving-freinds like cold turkey. For that, I didn’t even really have to make an effort other than to say, “I don’t have any free tickets for you…” or “No, I definitely won’t help get your band signed…”
At that point in my life, I built a life around my career and I made really great, strong new friends – the kind I thought would be more like a normal friendship. Ya know, the take AND give kind that stick with you for years and insist on reunions at Cheesecake Factory or something really intensely normal. I had three elementary schools and five high schools. The only really “stable” time of my life was Junior High and to even elude to that era being stable is a complete joke. While I went to the same school with the same people that entire time and had a real chance at long-lasting friends, all of my siblings moved out for college and then to start families of their own which was upheaval enough for that little version of me that didn’t like for anything to change. But in all honesty, the biggest and most obvious factor: Junior High isn’t nice for anybody.
So, we’re moving. Even for everyone who promises they’ll come to visit and insists we will stay in touch, statistically maybe one person will make it beyond those first few months. Especially in this day and age where chatting is a thing of the computer-nerdy past and nobody checks their email, text messaging won’t work when trying to stay in touch with someone half a world a way. People don’t tend to hold onto things that are “too difficult.”
Long story short…socks, you always lose them. You might find one or two and create a matching pair at some point down the road, but you’re bound to wear some out and lose most of them either way. So in many ways this is goodbye.