Two weeks ago I was agonizing over how slowly the time moves and how many hours are still left before I will be leaving. And now, when my last day is over, I am just barely scrambling for all the precious minutes we still have left. Today wasn’t a very emotional day mainly because I could see in everyone’s faces how excited they were for me. We promised each other to stay in touch and this time I am sure we will talk as often as we can. We went through so much together. I feel deep seated love for my colleagues, my friends, but more than that I feel a very strong sense of loyalty and pride.
They gave me gifts, a signed flag and a horrendously funny and teary video, but they gave me already so much more than that: they allowed me to be their friend, they allowed me to make fun of them sometimes, they even allowed me to hurt them at times (although I never intended to do so). They opened their hearts and minds to me and they gave me such a deep level of trust and excitement for who I am and where I am going that I cannot imagine my life without them in it.
I have always had a complicated perspective on friendships mainly because I moved so very often and during the moves I fully threw myself into a new persona. So one group of friends knew that old me, another one the newer me, and the current one the newest me. Being in the middle of this chaos, who would be able to think of friendships as something stable and something to nurture over time? Each recent year I have seen myself mature and get better at expressing my complete gratitude for the people in my life and for how much they care about this cranky, frustrated, rude, and selfish person. Each day I go on and take on new challenges only to one day become the type of person who will always be there for them, whenever the occasion, time, and place allow us to be together.