Lynna’s Journey will be posted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month this summer.
“Take me to Japan in your suitcase!” I jokingly begged my friends in the days leading up to their departure.
It’s happened so many times now. I grew up in a small town where people stuck around: whenever anyone left, it was a big deal. After I left home, it’s just become a part of life. I used to be so afraid of losing friends after leaving them. When I left Japan, I was heartbroken at the idea that I might never see my DTS classmates again.
I try to do long-distance friendships when I can. I’ve actually been doing a decent job at staying in contact with my friend who has most recently returned to Japan. It’s never quite as much as I would have hoped– time differences, scheduling, and other commitments always get in the way. Plus, if I’m always meeting people and they’re always moving away, how can I possibly remain friends with all of them in the same way as when they were with me?
I can’t, of course. In one way or another, I have to decide what friendships I want to invest more time into. But that doesn’t mean my relationship with everyone is broken and wasted forever, or that they don’t love me anymore. It just means we can’t function in the same way that we used to. Our smaller interactions have to count for more. Every time I do get to see someone, I try to hold those memories close.
Even if it was just for a tiny fragment of time, all of my friends have influenced me, even if they’re now far away. Even if we haven’t spoken in months.
The times we get to spend with each person is so short, like a drop in a bucket. Often, when I know my friends are going to leave, I try spending as much time with them as possible.
Sometimes what can happen in just a short time surprises me. There was this one girl from Korea who I shared a few conversations with, and because of that I considered her a friend, but because of my hectic year, we only got to actually hang out very briefly twice. Yet, we managed to have some really important conversations in those times. I didn’t even know that was possible. Now I know that sometimes it doesn’t matter how much time I spend with people, it’s about making the most of that short time. I just wish there was more of it.