No, this won’t be a post about breakups, or even relationships in general. There’s so many blog posts dedicated to that topic, and while I’ll get there eventually, this is not one about romance. Or at least about break ups.
This is about friendship. And letting go.
For the past six months or so, I have continually been asked why Brighton? Why England? Why 3,000 miles away from home? Why not local? The list could go on. But one question that I recieve above all else is the hardest of all.
How can you leave your friends?
For me, the answer is simple. Growth.
The friends that I have gained throughout my years are all from the same two towns, the majority of them all from the same school district as me, or family friends who I’ve grown up with for the past twenty two years. I love them all very dearly, and if you’re one of them – do know that I will miss you. But I can’t stay here anymore. As much as I love you all, friendship is about growth, and change. And now I’ve reached the point when my change requires me to move across the ocean.
I was asked the other night by one of these friends if I’ll miss being able to see them, miss being able to spend time with them, or even miss being able to call them up or text them when I want to do something. And the truth – the honest truth – is no. I can’t miss them because there is nothing to miss.
A part of growing up through a long term friendship requires that change. It requires you to move on, change hobbies, schools, interests – even cities. Friendship can’t be defined by who you see five days a week or who you grew up playing games in front yards with. That’s what your teenage years are for.
Of course it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be friends with those people, but it also means that you can’t stick around for them. Sticking around for a friend can hold you back from your own passions, your own dreams – and a friend should never allow that because that’s what friends are for – to allow you to grow.
In the months to come, I hope that when I board my plane and leave the United States for the next year, that my choice is the right one. That moving 3,000 miles away from everything I’ve known will be the right one. But, at the same time, I hope that the people who I am leaving behind can understand why I can’t allow myself to stay in Syracuse any longer.
The choice to leave the friends I made here did not come easy to me, but I also know that leaving this city behind will open my eyes to a world which I want to be a part of more than anything. And I know traveling to Brighton will be the beginning of an adventure that I hope the friends I have here can continue to support me on – even if it means I can’t see them in person.
Friendship will always be about change, growing up, and having new experiences together. Friendship isn’t defined by who you’ve known the longest, or see the most – it’s about who encourages you and motivates you to be a better you. And to the friends I’m leaving behind, realize that it is never going to be about you – it has always been about me.