Tomorrow morning, I will officially be depressed.
Another friend has decided to vacate Sarasota for greener pastures. Actually, it's more than one friend - it's two. And they will surely be missed.
Both were teachers. One will continue her teaching career up in Pennsylvania while the other will be pursuing another career after attending graduate school in central Florida. Sarasota County needed these two, and they couldn't keep a hold of them due to budget cuts, not to mention the way our school "system" is run. We were lucky to have them for as long as we did.
As I sit here, trying not to cry over MY loss, I am reminded that they will be much happier where they are going. They are starting over, and that is an experience I can truly relate to. Had I never left Westerville, Ohio, to start over and reinvent myself, I never would have met my fantastic husband and I never would have met these amazing people.
It's hard to not be saddened though. For whoever said, "It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" has never had their heart broken numerous times. I remember when it first happened, when our first friend from our tight circle decided it was time to fly the coop. He was in our wedding and claims to be the cupid that brought my husband and I together. He left 2 years ago for Philadelphia.
Then, it was like dominoes. One of my very best friends that I had worked with for 2 years decided he needed to move closer to home and left for DC. The same year, the person who I felt like was my sister moved to Nags Head because her husband relocated. I remember sobbing in the school office, asking her who was going to be here to understand me. I still get choked up when I find the walkie-talkie watch in my desk drawer that my DC friend gave to me our first year working together.
As if there wasn't enough salt in my wounds already. Now, a dear friend who I collaborated with for the past 3 years has decided to join our friend in Philadelphia.
It's a wonder I keep any friends at all, for fear that they too, one day, will leave Sarasota and me behind. Or maybe it's just a sign of what I am supposed to do next. One by one, as our friends move on, they look back and my husband and I as if to ask, "Well? Aren't you coming?"
Who knows. There are times I think I want to move closer to home, and there are other times when I am so grateful to be in the sun and 1200 miles away from family drama. No one knows for sure what will happen a year from now, so I try not to think that far ahead.
What I do know for sure is that I will cry tonight. I will miss my friends as they start a new chapter in their lives and I can only hope they find what they are looking for.