A friendship lesson: Moving on from moving away

illustration: Ainsley Robare

design: Makenna Shrager

It’s sad to me that the words, “I’m moving,” have become such a familiar phrase in my life. On three separate occasions, I’ve been sat down, looked at with regretful eyes and received an explanation as to why someone I’ve grown extremely close to won’t be with me anymore.

In the end, this isn’t an issue that I will hold onto for life, but all in all, it is still extremely upsetting having to let go of someone whom you’ve created so many memories with. However, these types of situations have taught me two of the most important things: learning that people will be in your life when you need them most and to never take any relationships for granted.

The first time I ever found out a friend of mine was moving was in fifth grade. Her name was Natalie: she was my next door neighbor and my best friend. One day, Natalie and her family came over and sat us down for a talk. She then explained how she would be moving 2,000 miles away. My spirit was crushed.

Although Natalie moving away was awful, it was something that needed to happen. Her leaving taught me that we have to appreciate people no matter the circumstances because we don’t know how much time we’ll have left with them.

The few months that I was able to spend with her were some of the best moments of my life. Her family became my second home, and had they not been right there next to me, there is no way I would have been able to end elementary school with as much ease as it was.

Though, soon after leaving elementary school, I faced yet another “I’m moving.” This time I was in seventh grade, and it was my best friend since kindergarten. This was probably the most difficult goodbye, and she only moved 10 minutes away from my house. Very dramatic.

But, this was so hard because middle school was arguably the most difficult period of time during my life. It’s a time where I lacked confidence and I didn’t have a sense of who I was, and on top of that, I lost my favorite person in the process.

The week after she left, I only remember tears and feeling alone. But, not to invalidate our friendship, her moving may have been the best thing that happened to the both of us.

It was difficult, but it taught me to move forward and to not shy away from accepting new people into my life. Soon after she left, I met so many incredible people that have changed my life for the better, and to be honest, I’m scared to see how my life would’ve panned out if I continued to let her be my only friend.

Also, this situation brought a hard realization to light: people will be in your life until you no longer need them. Though blunt, this is reality, and this is something that everyone at some point in their life should learn.

The universe moved her away from me because I needed to learn to let others in; it was important for me to move forward.

The most recent situation where someone told me they were leaving was only about two years ago. I only knew her for a short while, but in that time, I became close with a person who was truly one-of-a-kind.

After facing almost a decade of people moving away, I’ve been two years clean, so if any of my friends are reading this, please don’t come to me with “news.” But nonetheless, I am so grateful to the people who have left me, because they left me with a new sense of reality that allowed me to grow as a person.

Every person mentioned in this I still am very close with and they remain very prominent in my life. Sure, their purpose in my life is not the same as it was, but they were with me at one point, and that’s all that matters.