My life is marked by reunions. I move around so much, and the people that I love are spread so thin across the world, it’s hard for us to be able to meet up without extensive planning.
My family tries to meet once a year, depending on everyone’s personal situations, and unfortunately this year we didn’t get to meet up. But our next three, four reunions are already penciled in because… well, we are all world travellers and having plans, however distant, gives us something to look forward to together. We travel well together, at least, because otherwise it would be a nightmare. Our current plan for next year takes us to at least five different countries in the space of two weeks (thank you budget airlines)… breakfast in Amsterdam, lunch in Barcelona, and dinner in Marrakech… pfftt!!
And then, of course, come the friends. A lot of my social life is dependent on planning and getting too excited and waiting for hours outside tube stations for people that have travelled literally from the end of the earth to come say hey. Otherwise it’s planning weekends off and a lot of train/bus travel around the UK as we try to meet up without breaking the bank. One of my favourite memories of M is when we sat on some bench in Notts after buying too much wine at Saino’s before we went back into the hotel, literally near tears because we couldn’t believe we were finally seeing each other and finally able to say the things we’d been bottling inside for months. That was the benefit of living in London, actually. Everyone eventually passes through there, for work, a gig, or anything, and that makes it easy to meet up with people. With most of my friends, it’s a matter of just going back to our old ways. We just somehow find our groove, within the first five/ten minutes, and just start talking and don’t really stop. We are back in sync, and it takes no effort whatsoever to get to that point. And I love that I am able to do that with people, it’s how I know I have friendships that will stand the test of time and distance. We have to have the obligatory half hour chat of all the things that have happened, all the gossip of our respective lives of people we’ve never met, and will probably never meet, and then we are back again, to picking food off each others’ plates.
We recently had a reunion with Uni, and that was really great seeing everyone again! Not as many people showed up as I would’ve liked, but hey, when you’re dealing with so many people, and with so many people living all across the world, it’s difficult enough as it is- and then you’ve got work and family commitments. And it’s not like two years is a major mark, haha. It’s just a bunch of us feeling nostalgic and wanting a good excuse for cheap drinks in Leeds (seriously… puts all of the UK to shame!!). But that reminded me of something, which I didn’t really process until after I was playing musical chairs at the pub to say hi to everyone. Everyone moves on. Everyone grows, in some way or another. One professor has a beard that could reach outer space now, and the other was telling me about his retirement plan. You go back and expect everyone to be who they were. But people all have jobs now, or are starting new studies, or are planning to go back to school…And we couldn’t go ‘back in sync’ like I do with my friends, because the group of people that came together were never in sync anyway. Not that we didn’t get along! But it was an interesting way of just seeing people again, now in a slightly different light, and most importantly, more respect. We’ve all gone different ways since uni, and we all try our best to play with the cards we have been dealt. The best part is that it wasn’t hard to say goodbye. I know that they’ll all be okay. They are all fighters, and are fierce in their own way, and I have no doubt that they will succeed in their own way, just like I’m trying to succeed in mine. I’ll be excited to see them again, too, next time we have a reunion. In a way, though, it was a poignant reminder that not everything can always go back to the way it was, which in all honesty, I can’t decide if that’s comforting or not.
I should probably pop M a text again, because I think a dance party is due, with some wine.