I’m going to miss you guys.
We’ve shared struggles, laughter, adventures, serious conversations, and lots of time. You, my friends, have played a role in making me who I am today. I thank you for that.
Graduating, no doubt, will come with many, many joys. But even though the next chapter of my life will be an adventure, a sharp pain also accompanies graduation; it is that of leaving my friends who, if I’m honest, were one of the biggest contributors of joy in my life.
A couple of years ago, I published a post regarding friendships that deserves to be revisited. The take away was that relationships can have three time dimensions, and the more dimensions there are in any given relationship, the stronger that friendship is.
One clear dimension is the present. This aspect of friendship is active any time friends are together in the present. At school I spent a lot of time with friends, eating, working out, studying, and just chilling. This dimension is also active any time that a person might be even thinking of his/her friend. For instance, one of my friends is a huge fan of orange. Every time I see an orange vehicle, I think of him and thereby keep the present dimension activated, even if we aren’t together in person.
Another dimension is the past. This includes all the memories and adventures that occurred earlier in the relationship and fun points of connection like inside jokes. Because of our shared past experiences, I have a strong connection with friends I went backpacking with. This dimension often takes a while to build. However, I’ve been friends with my roommate since our first class freshmen year, and we have a lot of history and have a pretty solid past dimension.
The final dimension is the future. When individuals mutually plan to stay connected in the future, this adds another dimension to the friendship. Even though I’m leaving school, I one hundred percent plan to come back and visit and to do things like go skiing with them.
Once I’d established a friend group at Cornerstone and hung out for a while at school, it was no problem to have all three dimensions covered with many of them. We had many experiences with each other that we could reminisce about together as well as a hoard of inside jokes–the past. We regularly spent time together and, naturally then, had the others on our minds often–the present. While I was at school, we knew each other’s schedules and simply expected to continue eating, working out, hanging out, and studying with each other in the future. So I had some pretty strong friendships.
As soon as I graduate and move out, however, new obstacles arise. I am no longer living with my friends and there are clearly other distractions which take up space in my mind (you know…finding a job…). Making plans together for the future is much harder when I don’t have any idea what my future holds. I won’t be able to be a work out buddy, a dinner date, or a study partner. My friends will be forced to find new friends and things will change. We can still be friends, but I simply won’t be physically able to hold the same position I held while I was at school.
This is heartbreaking to me. I cringe hardcore when I think of fading from the lives of those I was so close to.
However in any relationship I or you have ever had, know that even if we don’t often make plans together for the future and even if we can’t spend time together in the present, nothing will take away the astounding memories we’ve had together in the past. Our friendship, though it may not be as strong as before, will never actually dissolve. Even if it only becomes one-dimensional, you’ve impacted my life and that will last forever.
So. My friends. I’m going to miss you. A lot. I’m going to shed tears. And, sure as heck, I’m going to try to stay connected.
But I’m also going to be realistic, and know that things will change. But for you, and for me, I want to clearly put out the reminder that we can, and will, always remain friends.
P.s. A great way to stay connected with me in the present is to hit the “follow” button on the right side of the page 😉