This weekend I had a big revelation about my friendships: People are going to miss me when I’m gone. I know that sounds crazy – who wouldn’t realize that her best friends would miss her if she left the country? – but I really didn’t consider it before now.
On Friday night I was sitting in my bedroom with a friend going over some of the items I’m going to auction at my birthday party next month (more on that in a later post). As we went through hats, jewelry, clothes and shoes for the boutique, I could sense something shifting. At first I thought it was boredom (I was telling stories about how I came to own a few things, and we all know that no one likes our stories as much as we do).
It wasn’t until the next day that she shared it had just hit her that I would be leaving and everything we were doing was a “last time to…” event and it made her sad. While this whole process has been really exciting for me, for my friends and family it is something else entirely.
You see, it is really easy to be consumed by planning. We have money to save, possessions to sell/donate, a house to sell, vaccinations to get, medical/dental checkups, destination research to do, and about a million other little things. Whether I’ve done it consciously or not, I’ve let the planning keep me from experiencing the emotions of leaving the best friends I’ve ever had in my life.
My friend’s statement shocked me and made me cry. And then I realized the gift in the message.
Whether your lifestyle change is buying a new house, starting a business, or traveling around the world, if it is significantly different from the goals of your closest friends you will experience changes in your relationships. Smart people recognize this and work to keep their friendships strong.
I think I was cruising along with blinders on. The logistics of the trip have kept my brain too busy to listen to my heart. This has been a huge wakeup call for me.
What is your experience in moving on to a different lifestyle? Did your close friendships grow deeper or more distant? Did you end up making new friends?