“You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
I never really understood how stupidly bittersweet the phrase was until recently. I’ve been so comfortable with everyone and everything around me that little changes never made too much impact on how I went about my day. Moving into the basement removed some of the convenience of living on the first floor of the house, but that was the biggest change I had had to deal with.
Then… my brother accepted a job where he would fly out to Manitoba every two weeks, for two weeks. My brother and I are super close and always spend time together talking about things even best friends wouldn’t discuss. He’s always been there for me in hard times, and to share in our successes. Except for this year. Unfortunate timing meant he was in Manitoba for my graduation. He’ll also be there for Christmas this year. The convenience of him always being close for a chat is now gone. We still Skype every other day, but chatting over the abyss is a lot different than chatting face-to-face. I miss his company during those two weeks he’s gone.
Furthermore, he’s thinking of renting a house in BC for his two weeks off. I haven’t even started to take this seriously because I know I’ll just be sad and try to disuade him from his dream. It shouldn’t be my decision what he does with his life, and while it isn’t the same, Skype will always be there.
Not only that, but two of my best friends are moving down south (aka, to Southern Ontario) this Saturday. As it was, we never were able to get together often because we had to plan around 4 people’s work schedules, but now that they’ll be so far away, it’s going to be even harder to plan road trips to visit. Not to mention I don’t think I’ll be hanging out with the 4th friend as much either because of things that have happened in the past between us. Again, there will still be our old Facebook group chat that we can rely on to have conversations, but it isn’t the same. And you can’t play Love Letter over chat.
I feel like a fool now for thinking of all of the things we’ll do once my friends move down south. Like, why didn’t we do this when it was only a 30 minute drive, instead of 5 hours? Why didn’t we spend as much time together as possible when it was easier? Why, why, why?
The silver lining is that I’m now acutely aware that things like this don’t last forever. We’re getting older, I’m getting older, and there will be a day when I move out of this town on my own journey. In a few years once I graduate from college, I’m thinking of taking contracts all across Canada as a medical laboratory technologist. My upcoming adventure (should all go as expected, no men involved), my brothers new job, and my friends’ new apartment – these are just where our journeys have taken us. And while I am stuck with this sickly feeling for so many missed opportunities, I also feel incredibly happy for them for having taken the next step. Even if it means moving away.
Yes, definitely bittersweet.