Final

May is the month everyone begins finalizing their summer plans. Taking their final exams in high school and college. Many walk across that big stage as a symbol of finally finishing their course work. May has a reputation for being final.

May 26 marks 11 months since I moved from my hometown and jumped the pond to big adventures. It has been an interesting, funny, awkward, wonderful, tearful, busy 11 months. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For most of the month of May, I have been back in my hometown. I have seen all 9 of the people I call my “favorites” or best friends – and yes, I have 9 people I consider best friends (5 girls and 4 guys and I love them all!!). I have accidentally made new friends, and love them just as much as those I’ve known for years. Attended a wedding of a sweet friend. Had to turn down being a bridesmaid for one of my favorites (because of not being able to come back so quickly). Spoke at two “clubs” about what Dad has been doing in my life and those around me abroad. I’ve spent time with my family and my second family (my personal Yoda and her family). I’m blessed to have been able to visit this place. Yet, something felt oddly final.

A friend and I went for ice cream before he left town. As we sat there, I explained how final things felt (I also cried, but that is kind of my thing … I am the town crier, but different). He told me that although this place and this time may be final, friendships and family aren’t final. Just because we all may not be in this place at the same time again doesn’t mean I can’t see them in other places. There is a whole world out there and we can see each other in other places at other times.

My friend also told me,

“We’re all sent from somewhere. Just be glad you can miss the place you’re sent from and have the chance to return.”

May’s reputation has not changed, but for some reason it caught me off guard. Almost as though I expected it to skip over me or change what it is, just for me. Me leaving this place at this time has more of a sense of finality. Saying bye has been much harder than ever before. People and community have made this place home, but it is no longer where I reside, where I work, or where I’m meant to be. This is – finally – no longer my home. This is a location, and the impression it has left on me, is one pressed deeply on to my heart. May did not change. It did not skip over me. It did what it always does, produced finality.

But, I can say with confidence I have been sent out from this place for something more. There is a new place that I call home. A new thing I call my job. New people I call roommates. Yet, as I think about the past year, my new home, my new job, and this new aspect of my life I can appreciate where I have been. I can miss the people I call favorites and the place I once called home. And I’m thankful to have returned for the month and for opportunities to return in the future.

So thank you, May, for showing me that although things may be final, it doesn’t mean never again. It just means another time.

I’m sad to say goodbye to those I love and hold dear, but I’m excited for their future ventures, marriages, children, and lives. We have been given this life to live, so live it well and live it to the fullest, and I’ll see you again in another place at another time.

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