I have been talking about my my going away party for about as long as I’ve had this trip planned. I talked about it for so long that it felt like it would never be here. June 24th was this date that always felt so far away. Until it wasn’t.
The day came, I picked my outfit and straightened my hair. My parents brought a cake from my favorite bakery. After a slightly annoying reservation problem, I was gathered around a table with almost twice as many people as I expected. People liked me and wanted to see me and it just made my heart fill to the brim.
I always looked forward to this party. I couldn’t wait for all of my friends from different circles to could get together and spend a really fun night together. I quickly realized that I was excited for the start of the party, but I didn’t prepare for the end of it.
The cake was all gone. People stopped ordering drinks and started closing their tabs. My friends kept giving me hugs and I kept trying to make plans to see them one more time. Saying goodbye was really, really hard.
I always have been so excited about my trip that I sometimes forget (or choose to block out) how much I’m going to miss my friends and family. The only thing that gets me through these moments is knowing that years go by so, so quickly.
While it feels like forever looking forward, when we look back it will feel like we just blinked and our trip was over. Even now, when I think about how much time we’ve spent planning it, if we had left when we started to plan this trip, then we’d have already been back. A year feels like so long, but I know come next summer it won’t feel like nearly enough.
Saying goodbye was so hard because these are the people who have so selflessly and unfailingly supported every single thing we’ve ever done or wanted to do since we met them. And knowing that these are the people I get to come home to makes leaving not quite so scary.