In a massive epiphany, I realized that summer 2019 marks a clear closing of a major chapter of my life.
That is a bold statement, but it holds true (in my humble opinion). A fair majority of my core Seattle friends (mostly those friendships I had fostered throughout college) are leaving Seattle. It’s difficult to grapple with your main network being uprooted - especially in a city like Seattle where it can be hard to make friends and the “Seattle Freeze” reigns supreme. I had thought summer ‘17 was the “last summer”, but now I realize it’s this one. Summer ‘17 was the first breath of freedom from the confines of school; everything felt fresh and we were riddled with opportunities. Summer ‘19 is dominated by silly traditions, mismatched schedules, and laughter, all under an umbrella of nostalgia mixed with a bittersweet taste. These are the moments. It’s been a beautiful thing to blend college, childhood, work, and random new friends together. For us to explore Seattle under our own terms without the guise of school obligations. To be free to make our own independent decisions and grow our own agendas.
In order to cope, I’ve told (nay promised) myself that I have more places to visit now. It’s the only way I can truly make myself feel better about the situation. Furthermore, everyone is a phone call/facetime away, but, you know how that can sometimes go.
It partially feels as if I’m being left behind. Ridiculous I know. I attribute this to the fact that ten close friends will have moved by September. I have to constantly reconcile with myself that I still have unfinished business to attend to here. Seattle still works for me. I also still have a lot of friends in Seattle. I’m forever grateful. They’re really awesome, good friends, but it won’t be the same as it was. I’m scared of that shift, that change. Candidly, it’s a melancholic for everyone. For me, I view it as abandonment (so selfish of me!!!!) at its core. On the flip-side, my friends who are moving are nervous/excited/reluctant to leave such a great time in their life. I know I’ve romanticized this period and cast a blissful lens over it, avoiding the inevitable. It will never last. Nothing truly lasts forever. I hope we can all look back and fondly reminisce about the absurdity of our lives. I wish we could all easily cast away all of our reservations about the future.
It is the disappearance of a beautiful thing. Immortalized by videos, pictures, stories, and memories.
All I can do is pray that distance is no enemy for these friendships. And be insanely thankful for the time I had to spend with each of them because I know I took it for granted. It’s especially hard because most of these particular people are the reason I love Seattle. Lucky, so lucky, to be surrounded by such great people. What I now know is that summer ‘19 is so important. It sounds weird, but is has an expiration date ins some sense. The city will feel different after September, and I feel as though I’ll truly begin to do things on my own without the safety net of close friends.
I know I have to document it as well. Archive as many memories as I can. Spend way too much money on disposable cameras to catch candid, everyday moments. Gather the masses for quirky parties and outings while it’s easy for us to all do this. So if you see me with my phone/camera out more, trying to capture something, you know why. It’s a bit selfish because I want these moments forever. This is one of the best times of my life.
It’s funny, maybe some comedic irony from the universe - earlier today I was welling up with joy and happiness because of how many people I was talking, plotting, planning, interacting, and bantering back and forth with. I sit here now, writing, still smiling, yet tears trickle down my cheeks. They’re not sad tears by any means, but tears of joy for how did i get so lucky. I felt so loved. They will always be my people.
May and June were really good. July and August (you too September) I need you to step up to the plate.
So here’s to you summer ‘19, please be a good one. I’m going to miss you.
[I’m aware that this was hella bleak, definitely didn’t intend for it to be. I just wrote my raw thoughts to get it off my mind. It is what it is.]