Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Watch your taillights blaze into nothingness

I hate goodbyes.

Last night I had to bid farewell to one of my best friends in this world or any other. She's moving to Nashville because she feels restless and ready for a change, and although I was at first quietly skeptical of her destination (What good can come out of Tennessee?), I am nothing but impressed by the way she has spent the last six months planning and doing and saving and now...she's actually going. Really and truly going to drive from Seattle to California to Tennessee.

We've been friends for ten years, a third of our lives (so far). I met her in college, where we shared a major, many classes, and volunteer experiences. Then after college we both spent a year with Americorps, and after that we were roommates for a couple of years.

When I look back on the last ten years, I'm amazed we've stayed so close. She had been good friends with my college boyfriend before he and I knew each other. When I decided I wasn't ready to get married and he and I broke up, various other friends found it too unfathomable and drifted away. (Not that that was the only reason I lost touch with various people...but it was a factor for a few.) She did not. When Mr. Thel and I first got together a couple of years later, she seriously disapproved of him, to the point that I really did think our friendship was over. But when her dire fears didn't pan out, she was big enough to put her reservations behind her and never speak of them again...

She's been like a sister to me, quarrels and bickerings and tears and all. I'm so proud of her for following through on a dream like this--and heaven knows, I understand how hard it is to go through with something others disapprove of, even when you know in your very core that it's the right thing for you to do. I've done it twice since I've known her. So even though I selfishly don't want her to go, even though I fret about how she'll do once she gets there, I understand her need to do this and I wish her well as she goes.

So bon voyage, anam chara. I promise to visit you in Nashville.