Our wedding photographer was great and part of her service was to give us these little books filled with some wallet sized photos from the wedding as an easy way to show family the pictures without having to take around a big album. Ella found one of these little books about a week ago so the little kids have been looking at it over the last few days and it has been fun to see pictures I actually haven’t looked at in a long time. One of the pictures is of our wedding party and yesterday Kellen asked who the people in the pictures were. I went through each person and explained who they were; this is our friend Anna, this is your uncle Justin, etc. It was crazy to think how much has changed in the last 6 (almost 7) years. It really hasn’t been such a long time ago but most of us were in our mid 20s and now are in our early 30s. We’ve moved around the country and the world, some of us gotten married and started families. Those people were all family. Either literally cousins and siblings or people it felt we grew up with at Seattle U. We had spent endless hours together making both good and bad decisions, we had argued politics and formed opinions together, we knew each other’s families and I never worried that we wouldn’t stay connected. Now looking back we are more connected with some than others, obviously moving so far away we don’t see friends or family nearly as much but with so many common friends and connections I’ve always felt like even though we may not be part of each other’s daily life we would always be in touch or aware of what everyone is doing. I don’t doubt that if in SF I’ll see Anna or if we were vising Jamie’s family in Minnesota we would for sure see Kate. We are just connected. So when we moved it was sad to be so far away from everyone but it is comforting to know you’ll always be in touch.
When we first arrived in the UK I was really nervous about being isolated. I’ve always lived in Seattle so had family around and had made my close friends in school so hadn’t had to really try and make new friends as an adult. What I never anticipated was making such good friends. I got so lucky to join a coffee group of really welcoming women who were friendly and open with their time. We also ended up connecting with a couple that Jamie went to high school with and all these years later we live in the same area. So now 2 years later we’ve made friends that have become close enough to spend Christmas with, that are as fun to meet for tea on a Tuesday morning as they are meeting for wine on a Saturday night. They have been the ones to commiserate with about moving to a new country or willing to be an extra pair of hands as Ella toddled around the room. The type of people you can sit down with and suddenly you’ve been talking for 3 hours and the time just flew by. Now as we move it is bitter sweet. I never guessed I would be sad to leave the UK because it’s not ‘home’ but I have found myself sad to leave our friends here. We don’t have the reassurance that we’ll be back once a year to visit or know that we’re connected through a large network or people that will ensure we are always in touch. I can’t imagine not reaching out and keeping updated on each other’s lives but who knows the next time we’ll see each other in person.
As I think about getting settled in Australia I can only hope the people we meet there are as great as the people we’ve met here.