I’ve been missing my friends a lot lately. Going to college out of state and then moving to Tulsa, OK after graduating resulted in most of my adult friends living spread out all over the country. As a result, I’m used to going weeks or months without seeing some of my friends, but being separated by so many thousands of miles of oceans feels different. And a little bit lonely.
One of my best friends recently came to visit in Sydney, and we had a magical week of fun. Since she left, I realized how much I miss being with people who really know me and share part of my history. I haven’t really made many friends since we moved to Australia in February. This sounds sad and pathetic, but most of the time it doesn’t really affect me. I think I sort of forgot what I was missing.
I’m starting grad school next week, and while I’m really excited to be back in academia and working towards some of my bigger goals, I’m most excited to meet new people and (hopefully) make some friends here! I’m also kind of nervous. I’ve had lots of time and opportunity to reflect on life since moving, and in some ways I feel like a different person than I was even five months ago. So how do I interact with others from this new frame of reference? I guess we shall see!
While there are numerous annoying facets of social media, I’ve actually been so thankful for the connection Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat gives me to my support network and friends. I really do look at all the pictures you guys post of your adorable pets, delicious meals, and fun activities. I even look at most of your baby pictures, especially the funny ones and/or baby with animal pictures. And every single picture of my precious niece and nephew. I treasure the connection forged through these channels.
I’m so appreciative of my friends who have made an effort to stay in touch, even when it’s difficult with the time difference and separation. When Lane came to visit, it was really interesting to share this new home and country with someone else. I felt more “at home” here after introducing her to Sydney. I realized how much I’ve learned (or learnt, as I recently learned they spell that word here) since moving here, and inversely, how much I still have to learn about this place I now call home. I’m so excited for more visitors to come because sharing this experience, being able to talk to someone about Dee Why beach or the Manly ferry and have that shared knowledge, makes my two homes feel more connected, and helps me feel less removed from my ‘real’ life.
At the end of the day, I know my true friendships will withstand time, space, and distance. Thanks to social media (and FaceTime) we are never really that far apart. Also, if you are ever considering a trip to Australia, I’ve got a room available (and the world’s worst air mattress, just ask Lane.) Sydney is pretty fabulous, but it’s even better when shared with friends!