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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Bittersweet Facts of Living Away From Friends and Family

Study hard, get good grades, graduate, get a good job, get married, start a family, grow old. I think it's safe to say that most of us have been taught from young that this is how life is going to be, that these are the stages of life that one has to go through. I, myself, included. 

Well, it's been almost a year since I moved to my capitol city.

It's not something that has been planned. It's not some kind of carefully constructed "next stage" I had in my head. It's more like a "spur of the moment" kind of decision which was based on the fact that I got my first job (which is my current job as a radio announcer) in my own country.

You see. I grew up in a small town in another state. After 21 years of being in my hometown, I "sort of" moved abroad to the UK for about 4 years. So, basically, these are the only two places I've been for the entirety of my 25 years of existence.

So, as you can imagine, all of my closest friends are no where near me. My family lives in a different state. Although I do have my brother staying in the capitol too, we both live in different areas and have different jobs that we are busy with.

If you haven't already seen from my previous posts, I mentioned that I was in the UK quite recently. This time around, the facts hit me pretty hard. My loved ones are scattered all over the world. Families that I love are in Australia, my closest friends - people that I've known for ages - are in UK, my best friends are back in my hometown.

I'm not saying I haven't made any friends whilst living here, because believe you me, there are a few people that I would literally give up my limbs for, but I suddenly found myself on my own a lot - without people to do my favourite activities with. I basically lost my support network.

Obviously, they still exist in WhatsApp and Facebook, but they're just not there on days when the world seems like a dark place. And honestly, that f*cking sucks. 

But I guess that's what adulting is? You move away from the people that you love. A lot of times, we think that career and education come first but in fact, I think that people and the experiences and moments with those people are the very thing that make our lives matter, that give us purpose, that make life worth living.

Recently, I've realized a couple of bittersweet facts about my living away from friends and family, partly because I'm about to move into a new apartment.

1. I tend to say yes to meeting my close friends when they fly over for a visit. If I was still either living in the UK or my hometown, I would have easily blown them off and gave some kind of lame ass excuse. 

2. Meeting my brother and my parents tend to be more special. Like I said, even though my brother and I live in the same city, we don't see each other often. But when we do, I tend to cherish those moments a lot more than before. 

3. I tend to appreciate pictures more than before. Selfies with uncles, pictures with loved ones - in fact, I'm totally going to put up pictures in my new apartment. 

Whilst there are days when I wish there was some kind of teleportation device so I could be reunited with my support network instantly, I know that the distance has made us appreciate each other on a level that I never thought existed.

Life is short. Make it count. Love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones that don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason.

How do you cope with living away from friends and family? Let me know in the comments :) 

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