This afternoon I dropped Alisa off under the Southwest sign at the airport. I sent her into the terminal with a tight hug, then slid into my car and tried to drive away before I could get too sentimental.
It didn’t really work.
It’s not like we had particularly unusual adventures over these last six days. It’s just one of the trials of having far-flung best friends. It’s hard to release that bit of normalcy, to watch a person who loves the whole you slip back to the other side of the country. You may have a guarantee to see them again soon, but that doesn’t make up for lost months of playing with your cat and teasing friends on IM together.
I held on to that melancholy mood as I enjoyed front porch conversation with new friends tonight. Different as these scenarios are, they account for my nervousness about moving. My best memories of that city involve Ed food, sidewalk chalk, lattes and Friends, piles of leaves and adventures born of two young imaginations.
Those things aren’t tied to the city but to friendships. I’ve just started to feel comfortable in the place I’ve carved out here, and I hesitate to leave it for a place that only holds memories.
It’s hard for me to believe that I’m not losing the people I’ve met here and that the city’s promise isn’t tied to the friends who were once there. Honestly, I’m really excited about some aspects of moving back. The job I’m going for sounds great and I’ll be working with one friend and making others. There are churches there and my home church is only an hour away.
The memories and friendships I cherish won’t be there and can’t be recreated. But they’re not supposed to be.
It’s a bittersweet excitement that serves to confirm what I’ve long believed—success is often harder than failure.
“Failure’s hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you’re successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever.” -Po Bronson