July 8, 2014

Change is inevitable and growing up is a process

"Change is never easy. You fight to hold on. You fight to let go." 
~The Wonder Years~

It seems that there comes a certain time in your life, where it's nothing but a series of hellos and goodbyes. I think it all just comes with growing up, but no one ever warns you about that part. Sure, they tell you that you should cherish the times you have with your friends in high school, because it's never going to be the same...But, they don't always tell you HOW. Lately, it seems like everyone that I grew up with are starting to move on with their lives, and rightfully so, but it's still hard. It's like I just keep saying goodbye to some of the closest people in my life and welcoming in new people. I guess that's the circle of life, but I can't say that I'm too fond of it just yet. 

It never occurred to me in high school that so many of my friends were going to move away for college, and that they wouldn't always be there when I wanted to hang out. I certainly took that for granted in our teen years. I thought there would always be time for it. So, a lot of times when they'd ask me to come over for random hangouts or watching movies, I'd pass and think "next time." But, next time didn't necessarily come until it was too late. I was very much a homebody and could find an excuse to get out of hanging out. It wasn't because I wanted to, but I was just very quiet and liked smaller groups or just one-on-one get togethers. 

But, as we started going through college, I missed what we all once had - Eating lunches together every day, working on the homecoming float, talking during boring assemblies, celebrating birthdays and holidays, when we had all the time in the world and sometimes Laurie would be at my house all day, random trips to Starbucks, texting all day long and complaining about what seemed to be so rough at the time. To be honest, it has only gotten harder now that most of my friends have graduated before I have. A lot of them have returned, but now something even weirder has happened...They're actual adults with jobs out in the real world. And they're moving. And getting married. WHAT IS GOING ON? We're not pretending anymore, and now we just have to go out in the world and find out who we are. 

Today, I said "goodbye" to my best friend, Laurie, as she is moving to Arizona next week. She's been going to school in Michigan, so our relationship has changed quite a bit over the years, but at the same time it has stayed exactly the same and we can pick up exactly where we left off. Strange, huh? We used to talk practically 24/7...Even if it was just something simple like, 'what's on your mind?' or 'what are your plans for tonight?' But, we'd also get into much deeper discussions about our faith, life, and gave each other advice about the issues we were dealing with. 

Well, we soon found that the time difference is a lot trickier than we had imagined when she moved to Michigan. We both had way different schedules; she would practically be done with classes for the day when I was just getting ready to head to class, or when she was free to Skype, I was getting started on homework or eating dinner. So, we haven't talked quite as often and there hasn't always been time to hang out when she would come back to town during the summer or at Christmas. The conversations were shorter and much farther apart than both of us probably would have liked. And we'd always talk about making all of these plans, watching certain movies or going out on silly adventures...But, most of the time we didn't. 

The thing is...You always think you have so much time, and that can be with anything. But, suddenly, the hour glass runs out of sand and you have to learn to adapt to what you're left with. We both thought that when she came back for the summer, that we would have so much time to do all the things we wanted, but then she became employed...And her summer sort of came to a halt, as did all of our plans. When we went to the baseball game the day I got out of school, I thought we were going to have so much time left, but again...It goes a lot quicker than you think. She leaves Monday, and I couldn't believe it. 

So today, Laurie and I had lunch at Panera. YUM! We sat out on the patio, but luckily didn't sweat to death, even though it was incredibly hot out. Plus, there was a lot more room than there would have been inside and we could actually get into deeper conversation, instead of having to keep our voices lower or having a hard time hearing one another. She told me all about the stuff she'd gotten for her apartment and updating me on how she's been this summer. I told her more about the paper and how I'm just ready to be done with school and all of the other craziness that life has brought lately. There are usually so many things I want to say, but don't always get the chance during our text conversations. 

After lunch and chatting awhile, we decided to make a video (per my request) and took some pictures. Then, Laurie brought me home. She came in for a few minutes to talk with my mom, then she had to leave. We said that we'd have to Skype more, and I hope that we're actually able to follow through with that this time. 

I'm so thankful that even though things are different and we've both changed a bit, we can still find the same groove...Only this time, we're older and wiser than we once were ;). I know that even if we go for months without talking or our conversations don't last all night like they once did, I can still call her and she'd be there to say a prayer for me or to just listen to me vent about something. That's the most comforting thing of all. And years from now, we'll be able to hang out and talk about how we overcame it all. Together and apart. 

Just like I hope you find a Marissa, I hope you find a Laurie in your life as well. Someone who is loyal and won't leave your side, and it will still always make an effort to be in your life, no matter how busy your schedule is or the distance that might separate you. 

So, while a lot of my family members are moving away and starting new chapters in their lives and other friends are moving away, graduating and starting their careers, it gives me hope that my time is coming soon. Until then, I will enjoy the remainder of college and the fact that some of my friends are still in town...And I don't have to pay for everything right now and can afford to sleep in. But, I am SO excited for everything that's coming up for them and that their hard work is paying off. I'm sure that is an incredible feeling. Our lives are really just beginning. I guess there's really no reason to look back just yet.

Just a few quotes: 

"Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these."
~Susan B. Anthony

"Time goes by so fast, people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you." 

"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."
Joseph L. Mankiewicz

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

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