Last year, I said goodbye to college. I knew in my heart, like all my farewells, that it would be painful. I always cry at endings. I hate goodbyes, like many people. I cried after the cast party of a musical I was in right before freshman year, and now looking back, it seems like a silly thing. But it wasn’t. At the time, that show and those people were very close to my heart.
My four years in undergrad were special to me, too. Graduating made me proud and happy, but leaving some of my closest friends and my second home was bittersweet and difficult. Somehow I made it. It helped that I was moving to London for an internship shortly after, to spend the beginning of my summer in my dream city. Now, I get nostalgic for that internship. Despite the difficulties of really living “on my own” for the first time, in a brand new bustling city. It is a time I look back on fondly, a time that I cherish the memories of.
This year, I will say farewell to my two closest friends. My best friend (and his boyfriend) are moving to California. And as happy as I am for them both, I am devastated to not have them just a short car ride away. Perhaps my most difficult lesson thus far in life is letting go. You can’t fight the future, you can’t hold on to everyone and everything you think is meant to be. I remember vividly the first time my family moved. I was fourteen and I really thought my world was ending. But despite me fighting it with all my young teenage might, I was in public high school and making friends in the blink of an eye. It was there, my freshman year, that I ended up meeting the guy who would eventually, after high school was long over, become my best friend and confidant. We weren’t close in high school, though I considered him a friend. But somewhere after my sophomore year of college, we reunited and became really good friends. He is the first person to call me their “best friend” and he gave a meaning to that title for me.
So, in a little under a week, I have to say “see you soon” to him as he ventures off to the West Coast, leaving this dreary PA winter far behind. My tears are falling as I type this, as it becomes real that I’m not going to spend most of my free time with him, laughing, singing along to foreign music (particularly K-pop), and being myself. Something I embraced with our friendship, and it is already hard. But I have to trust the future. I have to trust fate. I have to let go…which is the hardest thing for me to do.
We can never be sure where this life will take the ones we love, or where it may take us. If you told me two years ago that I would be spending my post-grad summer in London, I wouldn’t have believed you. Before that, if you told me that I found myself during my study abroad in Ireland, I wouldn’t have believed that either. So I have to believe that the future is worth believing in, that life can surprise us and what we want isn’t always as good as a surprise that life holds. I am happy to welcome new adventures, new dreams, and new experiences as my best friend starts his new chapter in California with the love of his life. I am happy to see two people I know and love move to a new city and get closer to their goals. Life is full of changes, but there is good in all of them. Even if it is hard to see through our tears or slanted perspective.
Author: Chelsea Varela
Author Bio: Chelsea Varela is a recent graduate in communications from RMU. She enjoys reading horror novels, writing and traveling. She is currently looking into master’s programs abroad and finding her place in the “real world.”