" SpiritofSaltSpring:BC:Canada:GulfIslands:SaltSpring:Salt Spring:

March 01, 2009

Bitter Sweet Transitions

Now these people must have a few tricks when it comes to staying in touch. Starting from left to right, she's from Costa Rica but has been residing in Vancouver for the past two years doing a Post Doc at Childrens' Hospital. He's her boyfriend from Spain debating whether to move to Costa Rica to be with her. The other two are from Argentina, both baby doctors too, now residents in Vancouver.
Yesterday I was listening to CBC Radio in the afternoon and they were talking to the writers/poets who had won the 2008 CBC Literary Awards. When Eleanor Wachtel finished interviewing the new winners, she then went back to a former winner, Gail Anderson Dargatz wrote The Girl with the Bell Necklace and that was the beginning of her "real" life as a successful writer which really took off when she wrote The Cure for Death by Lightening.

So, the show ended with a segment where a man was interviewing Gail, asking her questions. One of the questions was "What do you look for in a friend?" Now, most of us might think she'd respond loyalty, kindness, adventure, support, humour, intelligence, but in fact her answer was proximity.

Now, she didn't mean, whoever is close by will do. She did mean that in a world where people are very transient, what she looks for is being able to not be transient and maintain friendships with people who live close-by because that's better than friendships that are pieced together on Twitter, on Facebook, in snippets of time when one or the other happens to be in the same place for a few days or a month.

Why am I telling you this? Because, when I moved to Salt Spring, one of the things I really didn't think much about prior to moving was the fact that I might miss my friends. It seems a bit crazy that I wouldn't have thought of that in more detail because I'd built up a really good circle of friends in Vancouver in the years between 1995 and 2008. They are really important to me. I have a really good time with all of them. I genuinely looked forward to spending time with them and we always have fun, or a laugh, or good conversation and made each other feel better when that mattered. I was just in denial I suppose about how changing places geographically and not being there to continue to do things, in person with them, can't help but affect the friendship. It lessens it no matter how much you don't want that to happen.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately and tonight, I had a conversation with Lisa, one of my bestest friends, someone who has brought me a lot of joy (and vice versa) in the past 6 years and somehow no matter how much we (I) know that life is change and if it isn't, then you're not really living, it's not always easy to go with the transitions away from people that make you really happy. Maybe it's especially more significant when you're single because your friends are your "peeps". You don't come home to one person for support and that's both not a great thing and a great thing if you know what I mean.

Anyway, Lisa and I were talking tonight and it's clear that we're all in transition. I started it by moving. And, even though it's only a few hours from Vancouver, it's a long way when you're not able to consistently hang out with someone to create new memories.

Lisa's having a baby. Her life is about to undergo the biggest transition (next to our own births and deaths) there is. Once the baby comes, it will be very hard for us to maintain a friendship because her life will be consumed by the baby out of necessity and she will then join up with other mothers and that commonality will bond her to them. She was feeling wistful talking about how another good friend of hers was talking about going on a kayak trip to the Queen Charlottes this summer and how in different ways she's feeling kind of wistful, anxious about that separation in possibilities. Because, normally Lisa would go kayaking but not with a baby. Although I guess, technically, it's not impossible. The indians did it. Where's the papoose?

So, there you go. That's what I'm thinking tonight. Life is change. And, it's when you have to let go of the really fun parts to do what you have to do, even when you want to do it, that you can't help but reflect back on the great times you had with those people you were so close to and just hope you can find a way to get back to that place with others in new ways over time and manage to somehow keep a connection with the ones you have had to physically leave.

I'm sure this is nothing new for most people, especially the kind that move around the world, but I've never moved countries or even places within the country hardly at all so it's a revelation.

No comments: