Sometimes, you don't realize how much you miss everyone and value their friendships until you have been away from them for a time and then reunite with them. I have some incredible friends.
The end of the school year was a whirlwind for me. With wrapping up student teaching, graduating, and leaving for India all in four days' time, I did not have time to think about the fact that I was saying goodbye to my best friends for a long period of time. While I have seen a few friends over the course of the few months that I have been back in the States, I have really not seen that many. I have a few friends left in the Grand Rapids area who are only a short bike ride away and a few still in Holland, but a majority of my close friends have moved away from Michigan--they are off in the world doing big and beautiful things. My friends are in places like Chicago, Seattle, Oklahoma, Ohio, Boston, New Zealand, Portland, France, and the list goes on...
This weekend I got to celebrate the marriage of two of my friends, John Rob and Lindsey Rebhan, alongside many of my best friends. What a glorious celebration it was! Not only did we get to celebrate together one of the best reasons to celebrate in this life, but we also got to reunite with one another. I am truly blessed with some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for. This is why it is so difficult to finally have the realization hit me this weekend that most of my close friends are far away. No longer can I walk down the street to my friends' homes, stop by to say hi to someone on my way home from class, or have spontaneous adventures. I now have to plan when I will see the people that I love most. I now have to save my money for plane and train tickets, gasoline, and eating out when I make visits. I have to plan around my full-time teaching position to spend time with my friends. I miss the ease of college life.
BUT...I guess this is growing up. You have to be intentional about keeping in contact with people. You need to make extra effort to see the people you want to see. Through all of this, though, I think you learn who's worth making that effort for; who you really desire to receive life updates on; and who will stick around with you, too. While the day-to-day might seem rough at first, at least we all have bright moments to look forward to. There will come more glorious days that we can all spend with one another.