I just realized that this is the first time I am not the one leaving.
- High school – I left for Tennessee
- College – We all left
- Italy – I came back to the states
- Grad school – we all stayed in driving distance
- Hendersonville/ Nashville – I left for Uruguay
This time I am the one staying. Well, no freaking wonder I left so many times. Staying fucking hurts!
My friends are all packing their lives. They are sad to be leaving but excited for the new adventure. They don’t have time to relax and reflect because newness is ahead. It’s vet appointments and document gatherings and suitcase shuffling. This. That. What’s next? And all I want is to slow it all down.
Every second I could, I was with a friend who was leaving. Poor Nico was told that we may not have the week before I leave for Nashville to spend with each other. “I’ll be with you for 17 solid days,” I told him. “I don’t know when I will see Brad and Katie again.”
I am pretty sure Brad and I went to the restaurant One Love together more in that last week than the entire time we have been in Uruguay. And there was whiskey conversations and Rambla walks. I had a errand to run, but as soon as I got the text, “want to take a walk?” I dropped whatever I was doing. The answer was always yes.
With Katie there was sushi eating and wine drinking. And talks about Thanksgiving in Colombia. And I could tell she was talking her time with her own goodbyes for people she wasn’t sure she would see again. Katie has never seen Teatro Solis, so we all head to the Uruguayan symphony. Because that is what you do when you are leaving.
Then we all went to the final bodega of the school year. Nancy and Greg, Seba, Katie, Brad…it was a night of fire and friendship. And the final day we all spent together was filled with running around Montevideo and lunch. And man it broke my freaking heart hugging Nancy and Greg outside of the restaurant, even though Tennessee is usually a stop for me during the USA rounds. Then having to say goodbye to Brad in the supermarket. Well, that was just the worst. Although considering the disfunction of our friendship, that one was pretty fitting. Nevertheless, I was choking on tears as I made my way into the wine section to get some bottles for the states. And one should never buy wine broken hearted. It is bad for the bank account.
When others are leaving, the place you love seems a little more empty even though they are still here. And it doesn’t freaking help that they days are grey and cold and it is winter time! That’s just cruel when you are losing your buddies. So I am soaking in every philosophical conversation and snuggles with a silly cat and it’s energetic person and sarcastic remark from an old curmudgeon. And I am reminding myself over and over not to immediately compare the new people to the old when I meet them because that simply isn’t fair. But I have come to realize that I don’t like the staying part of the leaving. So the next one to leave better be me.